Another Free Write Friday entry – this week Kellie’s prompt comes in the form of a picture, and a story beginning…. Click on the image below for more details about Free Write Friday.
‘I should bloody well hope so,’ thought Reever, ‘the advert clearly stated ‘spacious ground level treepartment – all mod cons.’ So it better be bigger inside than it looks.’ Aloud she said, ‘What about the stables?’
The agent gave her a sideways glance. ‘For your.. er.. Camel..?’
‘Yes, for my camel.’ She stared him down.
‘There are stables three trees to your North. They’re pretty spacious, I can show you after we go inside.’
Reevie was used to the sideways glances and whispers ‘She’s got a camel! What’s she doing with a camel, here..?’ She never bothered to explain what had happened. How do you explain that your lover was originally intended for a powerful tree witch who, on discovering that he had instead chosen to be with Reevie, had decided that spending eternity as a camel was a suitable punishment? Reevie was just glad that he was still alive, and had the ability to shape shift back to his original form every full moon. So once a month she had her beloved Zoltir back. She stoked behind his ear and told him to wait outside.
‘I don’t need to be told,’ he hissed, ‘…like I have a choice, anyway.’
‘What was that?’
‘Oh nothing, my camel just sneezed. Let’s go inside then.’ She shot Zoltir a warning look and followed the agent in. He was quite tall, for a Nantap – they were usually shorter than the average wood sprite – but he seemed to shrink as he walked through the opening of the tree, as did she.
Once inside, Reevie took a sharp intake of breath. ‘Oh. My…’
Narrod smiled. He loved to see this reaction. Everyone was different. Some swore, some fainted, some just stood there open-mouthed. This one was curious, though. She stood, her head to one side.
She looked at him. He was grinning ear to ear, the fool. Obviously convinced she was going to buy. She was tempted, but…
‘How can you let this go for just 100 Prevetts?’
‘Well, the owner is hoping for a quick sale…’
Reevie tuned out his bullshit speech about the current state of the market and how no-one could afford finance to buy what it was worth and that the owner was fed up of waiting and wanted to move as soon as possible. Something wasn’t right. The place was already decorated exactly to her tastes, and Zol’s, for that matter. Right down to the deep red rug in front of the faux fireplace. It was just like the one back at Zeenan. They had lay together on this rug five years ago, the night before… Damn it!
Narrod looked at her. She wasn’t listening to him at all. He couldn’t understand it. Why wasn’t she demanding to get back to the office and sign the papers, like all the others? Perhaps he hadn’t done his job well enough. He knew the drill. Get them to sign, and get them in. What happened after that didn’t concern him. That was down to her. A cold chill went down his spine as he thought of her. One more year, he kept telling himself, just one more year and I’ll stop this. But he hadn’t. He grown used to see the Prevetts mount up, and rather than saving them as he intended, he’d been spending more and more on Sap. He needed to kick the habit.
‘Narrod!’ Reevie was standing close to his face. Too close. Wasn’t she taller than him?
‘You were miles away. Listen, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going.’
‘You can’t!’ Reevie was already walking back out of the entrance, back towards Zoltir, with a grin on her face. She stepped out in a mist of stardust and pulled him close.
‘No,’ Zoltir started to protest ‘..not now, it’s not a full moon until..’
Reevie kissed him ‘Zol, it’s ok. It’s over. It’s over.’
Zol looked down. He was back to his original form, and the tears he thought he had felt across his fur, were now running down his chest. Reevie’s tears.
Narrod’s screams started to sound further and further away as the tree started to lose its form.
Reevie and Zoltir stood and watched as it pulsed, trying to retain some kind of life, then disintegrated into dust.