“Bay, stop playing and come help me grow the lilies!”
The young boy sighed but anyway made his way through the stream, his short legs only carrying him so fast.
“Mom, you said that I could hang out with my friends today” He whined as he approached his mother.
The slightly taller women smiled at her son and handed him a white water lily.
He smiled slightly as he willed it to bloom in his hand, before setting it back down in the water.
“Much better than bothering the tadpoles hmm?” She mused with a knowing smile.
Bay puffed out his cheeks and the bluish skin flushed pink at being patronized.
“But I’ll let you get back to it since its your birthday.“She laughed. “I just wanted to check up on my big boy.”
Bay pulled back from his mother’s suffocating embrace, his cheeks ablaze. Yes, he was finally of age but he didn’t need all the nymphs of Phael knowing.
With a skip in his step he hurried back to his friends.
“What did your mom want Bay?” Maeve asked.
His friends were near the edge of the stream, lazily growing flowers that lay close to the water and making mini whirl pools for the fish.
Maeve was sitting on the grass bed just outside the water, leaning against her boyfriend Sole. Bay was always envious of their relationship. Not only did they find their mates young at only 18 summers, they were also already dating before the discovery.
Everyone told the couple that they were blessed by the gods themselves to have gotten so lucky. Yet, despite Bay’s joy for his friends and their relationship, he couldn’t help but feel pressure to also find his mate as soon as he turned of age. He prided himself in staying pure for his other half, seeing that soulmates were sacred to nymphs of all kinds. Dating one that wasn’t your mate wasn’t forbidden but it did cast some looks from elders.
“Nothing. She was just messing with me again.” He giggled, sitting in the warm water.
His white shorts flowed freely in the water although they hugged his figure more wet than not. Next to him, his other friend Blaise gave him a look.
“You’re 18 summers now Bay. You need to stop letting your mother baby you.” He said disapprovingly.
Bay nibbled on his bottom lip and let his curls fall in his eyes. Sometimes Blaise said things that didn’t make him feel so nice.
“Blaise.” Maeve cut in sharply with a pointed look.
The taller boy merely shrugged and ran his hand over the fish that had gathered around him, his blonde waves shining brightly in the sun.
“We have a surprise for you birthday boy.” Maeve continued to ease the slight tension.
Bay’s pointed ears twitched at the mention of a surprise and his grey eyes widened in interest.
“Really?! What is it?” He questioned eagerly. Having yet to fully control his abilities and emotions the water started to ripple aggressively, which scared off the fish surrounding them. Blaise frowned when the small school circled around him swam off at the disruption.
“Bay.” He chastised, removing his hand from the water to run it through his blonde strands.
The small boy shrunk in on himself slightly, the stream water calming back to its usual flows.
“Sorry.” He mumbled bashfully, his cheeks heating up slightly.
“Don’t worry about it Bay.” Sole interrupted with a grin, glancing at the rude boy with annoyance. “Now for your surprise, you’re going to have to meet back here tonight, when the moon is at its fullest. You’ll know what to do when you get here.”
The nymph smiled widely at his friends kind gesture.
“You guys are the best. I’m sure I’ll love anything you give me.”
Maeve and Sole cooed, while Blaise subtly rolled his eyes but a smile tugged at his lips.
“Blaise, Sole, Mae”? Bay whispered as he surfaced from the water.
He made sure to leave his pod while his mother was sleeping to avoid any unwanted interruptions. In all actuality, this was definitely not allowed. But Blaise’s words rung through his head and determination replaced his doubtful thoughts.
As he made his way to the spot he was at earlier, a small gasp escaped his lips at the sight. A trail of glowing algae was strewn outside of the stream and seemed to be leading him down a path.
Bay finally realized what his surprise seemed to be. He was venturing away from the safety of his home.
A shiver shot down his spine in uncertainty but before he could convince himself to turn around, he was hoisting himself onto land and taking shaky steps away from all he’s ever known.
“Wow” He breathed the further he backed away form the stream.
The view from above was definitely different from what he was accustomed to seeing below.
He never realized how small he perceived the world to be until then. There was so much...more.
With a bit of a wobble he followed the luminous trail of algae, which seemed to lead him deeper and deeper into the forest. He assumed that this was supposed to be a nature path of some sort, to which he would find his friends at the end of the journey.
Now though, his grit was wearing thin and fear was starting to take over. The farther he travelled into he forest, the more anxious and wary he grew. Suddenly, a loud bristle in the direction he was going made him jump with a disgruntled yelp.
Bay hesitantly took another step forward but when he saw movement in the dark shrubs he was instantly running back in the direction in which he came, tears pooling his eyes.
The small boy stopped running once his breath grew short, only to realize that he had not been running in the direction that he came from.
A hiccup escaped him as tears streamed down his blue tinted skin.
He was lost.