Part 1

JC cut through the crystal clear water, his body undulating up and down, his arms lay at his side and his feet tight together. He swam closer to the surface, relishing the warmth of the sun as his back fin broke the surface. He dived seeing a school of fish; his round buttocks were exposed briefly to the sky before disappearing beneath the rippling waves. He snatched a blue-gold aquatic in his webbed hand making sure his long sharp nails speared through the slippery creature snuffing out its life force. He swam for the surface gasping as he took his first breath of air before breaking into a lazy crawl. He fixed the lifeless fish between his teeth as he pushed himself up onto the rocks. He stayed in a low crouch, his pointed ears twitching, listening; He sniffed the air for strange or threatening scents. Finally satisfied that he was safe he sat cross-legged and devoured his meal.

On finishing he discarded the left over food back into his lake for the smaller fish to finish off and leaned back basking in the sun, his sea green shoulder length hair glistened in the sunlight. He sat suddenly upright his nose twitching; he whipped his head to his left, his eyes wide. Humans. In one gracefully fluid action he dived from his sitting position back to the sanctity of his lake. He stared upwards his transparent inner eyelid protecting his eyes as the man-things filled their water bottles. He hated the man-things; they were the only true danger in his world. At one time his lake had been full of nymphs such as himself, plenty of playmates to frolic through the depths with, but since the man-thing had come to the woods his kind had been systematically erased. Man spread lies about him and his kind, instilling fear and distrust of the gentle faerie folk, accusing them of bewitching and abducting human mates, dragging them to a watery grave but it was only when the man-thing began to kill them that they had fought back, extracting their revenge of those foolish enough to wander close to the waters edge.

JC fought his inbred desire to grab the hand that held the bottle, pulling it into his world, drowning the disgusting man-thing. But knowing that if he gave away his existence they would not rest till he was left to die with his body staked out to dry in the sun. So instead he sank deeper into his sanctuary, snatching another passing fish and biting off its head, sucking its juices, watching with hate-filled eyes till the man-things had gone.

Once the men had left Justin fluttered down from his hiding place, landing on the rocks. He winced as he inadvertently put too much weight on his injured leg. He lowered himself to the ground, stretching out the long well muscled limb. He gawped stricken at the arrow protruding from his thigh not knowing what to do. He whimpered in pain as he tried to pull it out, giving in as the barbed arrowhead snagged deeper into his flesh sending excruciating agony shooting into his groin. He began to weep, his gossamer wings hanging flaccid down his back as he hid his face in his hands. Bright shiny blond curls reflected the sunlight onto the blue crystalline lake surface as his shoulders shook with his pain filled grief.

The movement above the water caught JC’s eye. A stupid man-thing had come to his lake alone and now would pay the ultimate price and he could revenge his people with the humans’ life. He surfaced letting only the top of his head and his eyes leave the water. He knew his lake and not a ripple or a splash was heard or seen. He blinked back his inner eyelid so he could focus on his intended victim. He started forward as the man-thing turned slightly resting his hand on his injured leg. JC stopped. It wasn’t a man-thing it had wings. He watched silently as the wood sprite pulled at the arrow and then started to cry. The water nymph swam noiselessly to where the pretty blonde was resting. Soundlessly he stood up, his head crooked to the side, his grey-blue eyes tinged with concern.

“The man-thing hurt you?”

Justin jumped, crying out as he jumped painfully to his feet.

The nymph reached out a pale green tinged hand, his wrist fins dripping. “Don’t be frightened. I won’t do harm to you.”

The young sprite sniffed and wiped his hand under his nose, his chin quivering. “It won’t come out.” He sobbed his tears flowing anew.

“I will take it out for you.” JC pushed himself up onto the rocks and crouched by the sprites thigh. He gently ran his fingers round the wound, examining it thoroughly. “You must be brave now.” He said. Gripping the wooden shaft with both hands he snapped off the feathered sail. He looked around the ground till he found what he was looking for, a thick piece of wood. “Bite on this it will help the pain.

Justin opened his mouth accepting the make shift gag. The water nymph smiled reassuringly then without warning pushed the arrow right through the already brutalised flesh. As the steel pointed head emerged he seized it with both hands pulling it out the rest of the way. The process took mere seconds, but long enough for the sprite to let out an agonised scream and plunge unconscious and head first into the lake. Without hesitation the nymph dived after him. Cutting through the water like a knife. He caught the pretty fairy creature and dragged him back to the surface his arms wrapped round his chest. He hauled the half drowned sprite back onto the rocks and cradled him in his arms flicking wet blonde curls from his eyes. He cocked his head, the boy wasn’t breathing. ‘Land-things need air’ he remembered. He lowered his lips over those of the sprite and breathed into his mouth till his chest rose. He drew back then repeated the action. Soft coughing let him know that he had brought the creature back to the world.

Justin’s eyes fluttered open. “What happened?”

A small smile played over JC’s green tinged lips. “I took the man-things weapon out.”