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Tales from Rhime.


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The Wicker Field.









In the witchy witchy woods there is a witchy witchy tree.
where a witchy witchy owl gives a hoot to set us free.
From our witchy witchy slumber under witchy witchy moon.
If the woodsmen grind their axes - Witchy things will happen soon.
- Childrens song.



They came at night with torches, woodcutters from the vale. All good men we can suppose, but simple men. Frightened men. Turned to savagery under a full moon. This is a woodsman's justice: Fear-sharpened axes. Fear-fueled fires.
She was roused and shaken. Her mothers screams were swiftly silenced behind her, and then they dragged the small girl by the hair and into the night and promised her a swift death on a blazing stack in the middle of the wicker field. But there was no shouting or mockery. How can you mock a child of ten when you're about to set her alight? The woodcutters were quiet and grim and determined and blind.
They tied her tiny hands with a stout rope that might once have anchored ships. Many times it was wrapped until her elbows were rigid behind her. They sprinkled a salt on knots to prevent unraveling spells, keeping a wide eye to the skirts of the forest where any foul kindred might lurk. The forest loomed all around the wicker field - yet nothing came then into the strong light of their fire.
The child was white-faced, open-mouthed and silent. Curiously no tears fell as she was held gently by rough men, and now they led her almost kindly and encouragingly towards the flames.
One pious shouter - perhaps a preacher, cowering far behind, "Deliver your soul willingly child and it may yet be undamned - and reclaimed!" And then the men were unnerved as she walked alone towards the beckoning blaze - which had given a roar, may-hap unnerving them all the more. As if it were simply a hungry bear, and she the berries to feed it.
Then she stepped into the fire, the small child. And to the horror of the woodsmen she did not burn.
How high the moon can rise, and how deep its glow.
This night the moon was a beacon, diminishing all earthly fires. So the child simply strode into the embers, and they were doused in moonlight and coughed and smoldered at her feet - simple painless ashes to her bare soles. The moon was blinding and the flickering flames suffocated and died and the smoke simply fell to soup on the ground and riddled its way into the field, that none could see their shoes or guess for spiders.
"In the witchy witchy woods..." The child sang for them then.
"...Was a witchy witchy tree..."
Fingers clenched axes, and there was many a curse in the mob of men, but none fled yet. Where could you run to from the wicker field, except into the dark woods? And what lurks there now for the woodcutters?
"...Where the witchy witchy owl hoots a call to set it free.."
Her finger was at her lips then. Her eyes were wide. "...Set it free."
Her voice was small with a smile.
All lights were doused, including - horribly - the moon itself.
"...Set us free."
This is a witches justice: The witchy witchy owl hooted in the darkness, above the moans of men, and then all the things from beyond the woods fell upon the wicker field.
Edited by Deloria


Disclaimer: My RP with you might become a public story: https://soundcloud.com/shiv-mahon

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The Rabbit Hole.








There is a tree. We can start with that.


At the foot of the tree is a rabbit hole, and in that hole lives a rabbit, of course.


The tree is old. Very old. Gnarled and twisted and alone in the way that old things tend to be alone when they get ignored or shoved aside or avoided altogether. There are no other trees near, though this is the deepest part of the forest - it sits in a clearing all by itself. And if you had to guess which type this tree was you would win a safe bet on "The kind that other trees avoid", if trees ever got to have the choice in the matter.

Probably not, but it's a wierd old tree.


The rabbit hole then. Bigger than you'd expect and easily mistaken for a badger den or something like that, but cosy obviously. Rabbits don't usually need the sort of headroom this particular rabbit hole seems to be offering. The closer you get to it the larger it becomes - until suddenly you stand there right next to it and the hole is bigger than you are, even though the tree is still the same size and shape.


Or is it? Something about the way it leans - almost like a new angle in its branches - twisted and heavy and creaking and different. leaning over you. But that might just be the light. That tree though - You need to tilt your head to see it all up this close. Tilt and look up. Look up. Look sideways. Look again.


The light in this glade is strange by the way. It never quite gives you the whole sense of the tree or pulls it out from its own shadow - which is what light is supposed to do. It can't even manage to pierce the hole nestled at its roots, although the sun is direct and scorching on your back. Not surprising though - that big black hole just digs too deep into the roots. Funny. It really seems too big to be a rabbit hole after all. You could fit through it yourself. Step closer and see.


So hard to see down there. All the way. The light just doesn't... it doesn't seem right. For a start it's too bright. Hurts the eyes.

And too warm. The sun on your back like burning fur and the whole place is too just warm and the only place where you wouldn't bake under this hot green canopied light would be in that snug little hole. 


Not so little then, but probably snug. Green light hurts the eyes. It would be better there.

And cool. Maybe there's water? That would explain it. That explains the hole. And everything really. Cool fresh water in the well at the bottom of the rabbit hole. Away from the hot green sun roasting your back.


Makes perfect sense. It makes your nose twitch. You can almost smell it: Cool water to quench a maddening thirst - this sudden itchy thirst. Your ears twitch - you can almost hear it, the cool dripping moisture deep in the roots of the tree, your home.


Find the water in the hole.

Your hole.


Find the water, little rabbit.



Edited by Deloria


Disclaimer: My RP with you might become a public story: https://soundcloud.com/shiv-mahon

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