Mother Nature

Riselle stumbled through the thick forest aimlessly. She absolutely loved taking walks in the woods, but somehow she managed to get lost every single time. She kicked at the leaves surrounding her and rested her hand on a tree as she passed. How was she ever going to get out of here?
Suddenly her body fell sideways as the tree began to dissipate. But instead of fading away completely, it shifted into sparkling dust the color of grass and reformed itself. Riselle watched from her place on the ground in amazement.
The figure that stood before her was a tree no longer. Not even close. It was a boy, about her age, late teenage years to be exact. He wore somewhat of a cloak that covered only half of his abdomen and his entire bottom half and faded into the same green dust as it got closer and closer to his feet. There was a stitched leafy pattern on it making it look as if it was part of the wind. On top of his head rested the traditional hat of the samurai, the Kasa, whose brim he clutched loosely. And in his other hand, he clutched a thick mahogany cane that twisted in and out of itself ending in a curve of leafy branches. From the tip of his cane, and the edge of his Kasa dangled strings of glass, earth-toned beads. His hair was a spiky, dark brown mess atop his head.
Finally, and most strikingly, his eyes reflected a dark green color that lit up in a golden auburn in the sun. This startled Riselle. This was different than anything she’d seen. He tilted his head back, looking down at her with disdain dripping from his face.
“What’re you doing on the ground, girl?”
“Who are you? Mother Nature?”
“Do I look female to you?” The boy shot out angrily. Not only was his privacy disturbed, but now his dignity.
Riselle let out a giggle, “My name’s Riselle…people call me Ellie for short.”
“Well then Ellie-For-Short, I-“
Riselle let out another giggle which earned a glare from the boy. “They call me Ellie as a shorter variation of my name…not ‘Ellie-For-Short’”
The boy continued to look confused and instead settled for simply calling her Riselle. “I am the spirit of this forest…everything you see is a part of me, and I am a part of everything you see. I have no name for those to call me. I am not for a human to call me at their leisure.”
“How can you not have a name? Everybody has a name…I’ll just have to give you one! Say you’ll let me!” By this point Riselle was standing in front of the spirit, wagging her hands back and forth in front of her body in glee.
The spirit sighed and droned “If I let you name me will you leave my forest?”
“Yes!” Her eyes sparkled with glee, and the spirit wondered to himself if she was answering his question, or just exclaiming her excitement to the world.
Riselle fell backwards into a pile of leaves and clutched her chin in thought. She stared at the ground hard, so hard that the spirit looked concerned. “Are you in pain?”
Riselle giggled as if the idea was utterly preposterous (which of course it was), “No, I’m thinking!” The spirit gave no response but to mutter under his breath, “What peculiar creatures humans are.”
Suddenly Riselle sprang up from her spot on the ground and threw her hand up in the air, pointing at the sky. “I’ve got it! Your name will be Silas. It means “man of the forest”.”
A strange look took the spirit’s face, a look that Riselle couldn’t decipher. A long moment passed as she waited for his feedback that never came. “D..Do you like it?”
Silas gave no answer but instead responded with another question. “You will be leaving my forest now, correct Riselle?”
“Uh…yeah.” Riselle let the disappointment in her voice remain so as to not go unnoticed.
“Very well…Our encounter has come to an end. I bid you farewell, Riselle, also known as “Ellie-For-Short.” At these words, Silas began his departure and continued through the forest.
“But…I don’t know where I’m going!” Riselle watched him ascend the hill slowly, peacefully, and began to chase after him. Just as she reached him, and the top of the hill, her arm reached out to him. But as she came within an inch of him, his body dissipated just as it had before. But this time, it fully faded away. All that there was left for her was the gorgeous view the hill provided her with. And on the other side, stood the field that she had come through on her way here. Perhaps he did help her find her way home.
Riselle made her decent down the hill, and as she did so, she felt a cool breeze blow past her carrying the very same green dust she had just seen minutes ago. And she could have sworn she heard Silas’s voice echoing in her head, telling her to leave.
“We’ll see about that. I’ll be back…Silas the Forest Spirit. I’ll be back.”





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