The Winter Witch

By Tarynne Bourret All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

~Chapter Four~ Creatures after Dark

The two spent time going over the strange old book speculating ideas of what some of the pictures could mean since neither of them could read the parts that were written in such a strange language. And from what William could deter it wasn’t that of the Elven language or even that of the Sidhe which was another branching type of the Elven language, which could also be equally confusing when it came to understand the differences in both languages.

Though it was the artwork that had been drawn in such detail, of monsters make of darkness and shadow, and beings of both human and non-human, fighting these creatures which were called Grau-Böse that could appear in many different forms, even human shaped and looked to be both rather formidable and dangerous. Enya had heard stories of such creatures, and even though there were those who did not believe in magic, those people had no choice but to believe in these monsters for they weren’t afraid to make their presents known to humans when attacking. it was why so many would refuse to leave their homes at night, and why Enya’s parents had always told her to never go out when the sun set, less she wished to be attacked by such formidable creatures.

But what held William’s attention the most were those who seemed to have their own form of magic that did not rely on any of the elements but the sole power of their soul. What’s more in some of the drawings depicted of these people where that some had markings inscribed on their skin to control their power.

Yet there didn’t seem to be any other forms of information on these kinds of people besides the one in this strange old book.

A lot of this new information made Enya’s head spin, but in truth all that they could really do was speculate, since they were only children no one would take them for their word or that of a strange book that an unknown man was more than willing to part with. The strongest hypothesis that they did have was that someone who could control the elements, and ultimately the season of winter itself, was making the snow fall from the top of the mountain. But as for the reason behind it that was left unknown.

The sun had begun to set making Enya realize just how much time had truly passed. “I need to return home.” she told him. “Before it gets dark and the temperature drops.”

“You could stay over for the night,” William offered.

Enya merely shook her head and gave a slight smile. “Thank you but I’d rather not bother you any further. Though maybe at some point I’d like to look over that book again, maybe we can find someone who can translate the language that it’s partly written in to figure out more of what it all means.”

He nodded in agreement as he placed the book back inside the wooden box. “That would be something, but would anyone be willing to even help?”

“All we can do is ask and see.” Enya said as she put on her coat, as Roux suddenly rose up, ears twitching and body alter, as his golden gaze went to the window followed with an aggravated snarl. Enya frowned and went to the window only to see in shock of what was happening behind the church before turning and running out of William’s room with the fox quickly following pursuit.

“Enya?” William called after as he hid the book back under his bed and followed the two to the back of the church were a number of older boys were hassling another boy, throwing him to the ground and laughing.

“Hey!” Enya shouted at the three boys drawing their attention to her. “Leave him alone!”

The three older boys stopped what they were doing and looked to Enya, the biggest one, who was also the oldest of the three gave a callused smile when he saw her.

“Well if it isn’t Fox Girl, what are you doing here Fox Girl? I thought you left school because you were too stupid.”

The boy in question was Edward, and his two younger brothers Thomas and Jacob, the three of them were nephews of the Mayor's wife and always ran around acting like they owned everything, never caring if they hurt someone in the process. It was something that Enya couldn’t stand for and would often get into fights with, and it was also the main reason her parents took Enya out of Bartholomew’s school since the teacher almost seemed okay with turning a blind eye, afraid that the boy’s might turn to the mayor and demand that the school be closed.

It wasn’t something Enya could blame William’s father for, many in Bergdorf would often let the boys get away with certain things that many other children could not. Unable to take these actions well Enya’s mother and father both mutually decided that this school was not a good environment for her to learn. Since many times the children would often make fun of Enya for always having a fox with her, hence the name that Edward called her by.

Enya’s gaze then fell to the boy that was lying on the snow covered ground, and then soon realizing that it was the same boy that she had seen earlier that day at the hospital. He looked even more worn out then before, but what’s more he seemed to be using his own bruised body to shield something from the three older bullies.

She glared at the boy. “Why are you doing that to him?” she demanded.

“Why?” Edward asked before laughing and kicking the boy that was on the ground. “Because he ruined our fun, we go to all that trouble to catch that stupid thing and he gets all high and mighty about it.”

Thomas and Jacob then follow suit and begin kicking the boy as well.

“Stop it!” Eyna shouted as she rushed to help the boy only Edward was much bigger and stuck her with the back of his hand before she could even get close.

“And what do you think you can do to stop me?” He laughed as Enya fell into the snow. “You’re nothing but some scrawny brat who talks to animals like they’re people.” he then grabbed Enya by her coat. “You can’t do a thing to me.”

In that moment Roux pounced at Edward, fangs and claws bared as he let out an enraged snarl causing the boy to move back in shock letting Enya go and tripping to the ground when the boy on the ground kicked Edward hard in the back of the knee.

The other two let out a yelp of fright as the fox growled, his ears lay back as his fur stuck up on end as he glared at them in a silent warning.

“You stupid fox!” Edward roared as he went to lunge at the girl and the fox that was now protecting her, only to fall once more when William slammed his own body into the thick lad.

“William!” Enya couldn’t help but say with surprise as the Will now struggled with Edward in the snow and dirt. But her concern then turned to the other boy who had now grasped her wrist and shoved a medium sized jar into her hands.

“Run,” the blond boy demanded in panting breath. “Hide it and run back home.”

“Go Enya!” William proclaimed. “Go!”

With slight hesitation her expression turned stern as she took the unknown jaw from the boy and hid it within her basket and ran, just as she had begun she clearly heard Bartholomew shout. “What is the meaning of this? Stop fighting this instant!” but Enya kept going, running through the heavy snow until she ran out of breath.

Slowly coming to a stop Enya collapsed against a tree as she tried to catch her breath, her heart thundering loudly in her ears as her lungs and legs burned from running. When she relaxed Enya looked into her basket to the jar that the boy had forcefully given her and to her shock and surprise what she saw was something she just couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

For within the jar was a Sidhe, fairy-folk, thin and frail looking no taller than a spoon Enya had then come to the realization that Edward had trapped and tormented this poor being as a way for sick amusement. And that the boy that Enya had met briefly before was only trying to protect it from harm. New found anger and rage directed towards Edward came leaving a bitter taste in her mouth.

How could one being do this so easily to another?

Though that was a question that Enya would always ask herself when one person would easily hurt another for their own enjoyment, it was one of the reasons why she did didn’t like bullies but then she never knew anyone who did like bullies.

Roux let out a whine as he propped his head on her legs and stared up at her almost worriedly as if he thought that she wouldn’t be okay.

“I’m alright Roux…” she said with slight smile. But her smile soon turned to a look of dread, from all the running that Enya had done she failed to notice how much the sun had already begun to vanish as the darkness of the night slowly started to envelop everything as the sun vanished inch by inch. And they were still nowhere near the cabin yet.

Fear and worry began to slowly creep its way into her heart; she clutched the basket which now held the unconscious fairy inside.

“We need to hurry,” Enya said as she pushed herself up off the ground and continued forwards up the hill. The temperature dropping as the cold snowy winds began to pick up, making it almost difficult for her to even see. She knew moving blindly was not a wise decision to do, but it wasn’t her choice to make. Enya couldn’t stop where she was or even go back not with how far she had come, what’s more with the small fairy she had hidden in her basket who knows what some of the villagers would say. And with her mother still gone, the last thing Enya wanted was more judging eyes.

She continued forwards, pushing her weight against the barrelling winds that showed no signs of stopping, her eyes squinted as she made through the snow, only stopping every so often to catch her breath and to make sure that the fox was still at her side.

And he was.

Even with the freezing winds that whipped passed them he showed no signs of leaving her behind, even though he clearly could with his nimble speed. But there he was close to her side without so much as a complaint.

Even with the cold winds and darkening skies Enya couldn’t help but feel extremely grateful to have such a wonderful friend, so he wasn’t human, it did not meant that creatures could not care for those who they had made bonds with.

But the ever looming darkness of the sky still worried her even when they had reached the last slop of the hill, that feeling of dread would not leave Enya’s skin. They were so close to home now, just a bit away from where they were now and all would be okay.

That was until Roux began to growl lowly in his throat, fur spiked and ears lay back as he slowly moved in front of Enya with bared fangs. As the wind slowly began to subside she saw something, a dark thin creature with burning red eyes and red glowing markings all throughout its thin boney shaped body as if it was burning internally. It looked like a shadow, but with its long gnarled clawed fingers and the way it swayed showed nothing but horrible intentions. Though it had eyes it had no mouth from what she could see, and thin almost non-existent wisps of hair. Seeing those dark red markings and the black mist that seemed to come off of its body Enya knew exactly what she was looking at.

It was one of the creatures, the Grau-Böse.

Quickly Enya moved towards the treeline, the creature hadn’t seen her yet thankfully. Its sight must have also been hindered by the snow storm. But it didn’t last long, for the beast let out a low groan, sounding like an elderly injured man, the sound alone sent a chill down Enya’s spine ad against her better judgment she looked back to see the thin creature had changed, it’s jaw unhinged showing a mouth full of razor sharp teeth as it let out an ear-splitting screech before leaping at the girl and fox.

Enya turned and shielded the fairy in her basket as she closed her eyes waiting for the end only to hear the sound of something being cut with the creature letting out one more roar before all Enya could hear then was the wind. Slowly she opened her eyes and found that nothing had happened to her or to Roux.

They were still alive? But what happened to the monster?

She received her answer when she looked back to see the Grau-Böse’s black body slowly turning into mist, evaporating into the dark sky. And standing near the remains was that of a man holding a sword that glowed with strange symbols. Through the howling winds she heard the man speak but it was in a language she could not understand as he raised his hand and shot an orb of what looked to be light into the black sky revealing more of the grounds and more of those creatures in various shapes and sizes, some looking like animals while others had a more human type of look like the first one that Enya had seen.

Why were there so many? Was one of the many thoughts that surfaced to Enya’s mind, it was as if these creatures were gathering for something, but for what?

The man once again spoke in that strange language, a golden light came from his fingers as he wrote in the air before slashing through the words with his sword, the light scattered hitting the black creatures all of which howled in pain before falling and turning to dust in the wind as the snow storm itself slowly ceased to be.

Awestruck Enya found herself unable to move as the man then turned and slowly made his way to her, Roux let out a growl but the man merely spoke softly in his language which caused the fox to look almost perplexed and sniff the air only to growl again. The man shook his head before going down on his knees to look at Enya properly as if checking to see if she might be hurt.

She looked up at the man and realized that he was one of the Elven folk, with pointed ears and a striking beauty Enya found that she could only stare. It was not the first time she had come across those who were Elves, many she had seen were merely passersby or were half human, the few that she did see reminded her more of a human but this man that knelt before her now gave her the strong impression that he was a fully blooded Elven man.

But what held her attention the most was not his beauty but his eyes, his eyes were a deep rich orange golden colour, Enya had never seen such a colour before, they looked so beautiful.

The man then frowned and used his hand to tilt her head slightly to the bruise that was slowly forming on her cheek. His frown deepening he removed the glove from his left hand and placed it on her bare cheek, to her surprise his touch was warm and it became even warmer as a slight glow started to appear from his hand but soon vanished as it showed. When he moved his hand away Enya touched her cheek to realize that it no longer hurt, this man had healed her.

“Thank you…” she said to him as he stood and offered her his hand to get off the snow covered ground, which she accepted. The Elven man lifted Enya up off the ground with little to no effort then slowly let go of her hand and stepped aside allowing her to continue on her way.

Unsure she began to walk past the man, still reeling over what had just happened only to stop and look back at the Elven man. Was he completely by himself in this cold weather?

“Are you cold?” he looked at her. “I-if you want you can come to my home to warm up. It’s not that far from here I promise. It’s not much but…” she trailed off unsure of what else she could add, the man seemed to be able to heal wounds with the ease of magic, so offering some of her mother’s medical herbs seemed almost pointless. “And I have herbs, medical ones that my Mother grows; I can give you some if you want.”

The Elven man merely stared at her before revealing a kind smile and simply shook his head before looking into the darkness of the forest with a stern yet determined expression, the man didn’t need to speak for Enya to know what was happening.

More of those creatures were coming, he intended to fight them and he wanted no one in the way to be harmed. It bothered her that this man seemed more than willing to fight them alone, but then again seeing the power that he held she had the distinct feeling that he would be alright.

“Be safe,” she called out to him and the man faintly smiled before Enya ran off back towards her home as quick as she could, refusing to look back.

The wind had picked up once again, the snow now pelted her skin like bits of ice nearly stinging her eyes, thankfully thought she did not have to put up with it for long, when she saw the outline of her home Enya internally felt relief and rushed to the door.

Quickly she unlocked it and the harshness of the wind made the door burst open, putting the basket down Enya used all of her might to close the door, bracing her back against the wood as the fox used the entirety of his body to assist, with a bit of time and a whole bunch of effort the door was finally closed and locked. Enya let out a tired groan as she slid to the floor and allowed the warmth of the house to sooth her.

In that moment it made her so very grateful that she kept the fires going in the house so it would be relatively warm on her return. She would have remained like that but knew that before she could even relax there was one last thing to take care of.

She looked to the basket and frowned, how in the world was she going to be able to take care of a fairy?

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