Lost in the Woods

Emilia and Tomas were on a hike in Zion National Park and they held their hands clasped together as couples do when they came to an easy stretch of flat earth, until walk was split by a tree. The woods around them were alive with birdsong and the chirp of insects and the secret machinations of Wieland woodland creatures unseen by human eyes in centuries. The King of the Fairies had seen Emilia enter the land he was residing in since his separation from the Queen when they left the realm of men and he lusted for her.

Oberon, the King sent his servant Puck to pilfer her and that he did. When Tomas and Emilia came to the tree in the center of the dirt lane, he let go of her hand and they took either side of it. It was at that moment that Puck stepped Emilia through the portal and she seemed to vanish. The disappearance was astounding to Tomas: who noticed only after a few steps that Emilia was gone when she did not take his hand again; who asked quietly for her then turned to see her gone; who called out her name in vain after examining the tree that made her disappear.

Emilia, on the other side of the portal but still in the woods, saw the world for what it truly was: magical. The trees were glowing with the power they pulled from the sun, and the birds and insects and the animals were bits of music that fluttered through the air and scurried and scampered on the ground. Everything was so brightly colored with the soul of the woods, but nothing more so than the sky, which was waves and pools of green and purple and the blackest blue rippling together. And there was something else bright flitting about the woods, tiny and tall, it was woodland things: fairies and sprites and nymphs, that all looked to this new creature inhabiting their plane.

Emilia was terrified and still saw Tomas, though he was duller looking in a gray scale contrast to everything else around her but still glowing with inner light like everything else, so she tried to grasp him. He felt it not and could not see her and he called out but she could not hear him, only saw him yelling, calling out for her.

“I’m here,” she called, “right here! Please, Tom, why can’t you see me?”

“Because you’re not on his plane anymore. You are in a space above his. You’ll get used to it here.” Puck replied from behind her. She turned and was filled with fear for she saw Puck in its’ true form, which no human had ever seen before; humanity wasn’t meant to see such things and Emilia cowered against the tree that seemed to have split her from her lover. Puck was holding a flower and its core color was red and it dripped with passion.

“What is that?” Emilia asked.

“This,” Puck replied holding the flower up and examining it, “is Doting Madly. Just a little across your eyelids and you will sleep and the first creature you see you shall fall in love with, which shall be my King for so has he declared. Congratulations, you are to be his new consort.”

And Puck rubbed the flower on Emilia’s eyes and she slept as she stood, who was caught by Puck and carried easily away from the scene as Tomas scrambled frantically at the tree and the soil and called louder for Emilia and could not find her. Emilia was long gone by the time Tomas decided to give up his search and to go to the Ranger Station so as to report Emilia missing.

As he walked Tomas felt trepidation about relaying the circumstances of Emilia’s disappearance to the authorities there. He tried to formulate the facts in a way that wouldn’t make him sound crazy, but he could not come to such a conclusion. Tomas decided that they would no doubt still assist him in finding someone who was missing, and that was enough to quicken his pace. There was still daylight out but it would only last a few hours more and Tomas knew if he could not find her, or a trail of her, before nightfall that she would be lost forever.

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