Nighttime was upon the field. Everything from the kind lilies to the passionate roses were Forget-me-not blue. There was a pall over the sky, like a velvet vale concealing a meddlesome moon. Miranda’s hair now too was blue, and she brushed it back from her eyes, as if it had been obscuring the scene she so wanted to view. There was a whisper floating on the wind. A kind of angry whisper that seemed to grow loader and shriller with every step Miranda took away from her cottage home. She did not turn back, but imagined what her disappearing house might look like if she had the courage to do so. Her eyes were wild with excitement easily mistaken for fear, and her bare feet strode quickly in the direction of the forest. For the forest you see, is the only way to get to the village from home.
As she got very, very close to the outskirts of the Black Forest, a moan was heard from within. It was deep, deeper than any noise her ears had ever caught, and inside her soul a quiver occurred. Her eyes stayed set on the Black Forest as her quite willing feet moved forward. Another violent noise erupted, as if a tree was ripped from its roots. This made Miranda laugh with joy, because she was so very sick of nature.
Now inside the forest, Miranda looked around herself, and saw that all the trees seemed to bend in her direction, like deformed old men who wanted one last glimmer at the sunshine of youth. She simply strode ahead, ignoring the ever watchful eyes of the trees. There was no grass in the Black Forest, but dirt and stone, tearing at her feet as if it was a game. Though she was cut time and time again, she did not hesitate, and did not dare to stop. Oh my friends, no. To stop, was to commit the sin of suicide. Miranda knew of the wolves who roamed the black forest, waiting for children to explore and then tire. It was known in the village that children were the favorites among wolves. Legend had it, that all wolves were previously men in another life. Because these men were terrible sinners, they were transformed into animals instead of humans when it was time to transform into a new existence after death. Now, if a wolf ate a child whole, the child’s soul would be inside of them, and they could then return to manhood. But, if the child was equally as vile…
A twig broke near to where Miranda was standing, but it was not Miranda’s foot who broke it. Red, evil eyes watched Miranda turn around in fear. “Hello?” she called, afraid of just who might answer. A moment passed, and the child sighed in relief. Just a second after the sigh, a creature pounced on her from out of the bushes. It was a wolf, oh yes, and it tore at Miranda’s flesh violently. She screamed as she struggled with the beast, and did the only natural thing that came to her mind. She bit into its arm with all her might. As she did, a woman’s scream was heard, and the monster jumped off of Miranda in pain. Crying loudly, the thing transfigured into a beautiful young woman.
“Demon child!” the beast-lady shrieked. “Monstrous elf!”
Miranda’s mouth was drenched in the creatures blood, and it dripped down from her cold lips to her chin. It was she who looked more like a demon then. The imp even smiled, a gash on her cheek widening with every movement. “And who are you?” spat the little thing, blood spraying the Black forests floor. The drops of blood seeped into the Black forests ground quickly, as if eager to return home.
“Who am I? The evil spirit asks who I am?” shouted the woman mockingly. “I am the watcher of the wood, the protector of the pine! But just who are you?”
“Who am I?” mimicked the child with a smile. “I am Miranda.” The woman did not take her name as any meaning at all, and continued to stare at her accusingly. “I am but a child of course! I wish to visit the village,” she said finally, a bit peeved.
The woman laid against a graying tree tiredly. Her eyes were ever watchful, but the lines around them showed her wear. “If you wanted to visit the village, then why did you come at night? Only demons roam this wood at night. Are you not a demon?” Miranda answered no, so the woman insisted, “but you must be! Or if not, an apparition then? No, no, apparitions cannot bite…But surely you are not human.”
“I am, I am!” cried the child, and her voice echoed through the forest powerfully.
The woman touched the wound on her arm and gave a weak sigh. “Well, you surely have the teeth of a little vampire, and the hunger of one too. Wont you stop licking my blood off your lips!” bellowed the irritated matron, watching the elf thing savor her blood.
“It doesn’t taste like blood. Oh, it’s so wonderful! It feels powerful…” cooed the silly child.
“Of course it is powerful, it’s my blood, is it not?” shouted the woman again. “Now, I beseech you. Leave the forest at once. Turn round and run home to your mother, for that is the only path you can take. Beyond this section of the wood, things lurch in waiting for senseless children like you, to roam into their clutches. And trust me, they do not turn into forgiving maidens!”
Miranda watched the woman with interest. She wished to make the woman happy, but could never turn back. She was too close to the end. “No. I’m going to the village, and you are taking me!” proclaimed the spoiled child, stamping her bloodied feet in protest. As she did so, a vine sticking out of the ground beneath her shot up, and pierced her foot. The little thing screamed madly, and fell to the ground in pain. Tears coursed out of her burning eyes and as she held her foot. A hole was visible there now, the horrible vine pulling itself out after the damage had been done.
The fair maiden rushed to the side of the child, shaking her head quickly. “Be still!” she coaxed, brushing the babe’s hair away from her eyes. “Little one, you must stop screaming!” whispered the woman loudly into the moaning victims ear. When most of the pain subsided, and the girl had stopped twitching madly, the woman picked her up and carried her deeper into the forest. “I will try to protect you, though from some things, I cannot.” she said, stroking the girls shoulder. Her own arm had already mended, for the creatures of the forest could heal much more quickly than humans, since they all lived in constant peril.
Miranda was asleep when the maiden of the Black Forest stopped walking. In front of her was a different creature of the wood. This one was much less pretty. It was short, but had a long, angular face that drooped downward. Its eyes were simply and completely black. Its arms were so long, its hands reached the ground, and on the ground its fingers tapped the floor methodically. Its chest and legs were the only short things, but its feet were equally as huge as its hands. It opened its mouth widely, and the maiden found that the thing had no jaw, and was large enough to swallow a small baby completely.
“I am not impressed demon.” mocked the woman quickly as she tried to move past the thing. The creature jumped in front again and said, “Demon? Why, beauty of the Black Forest, I am no such thing! I only wish to…” It tilted its head as it turned its eyes towards the sleeping child, “to help you on your journey.” It smiled menacingly.
“I need no help pathetic beast! I know these woods better than any and will not be undone by some wretched excuse for a monster!” screamed she whose beauty was matched by none.
“So it is true then? I assumed correctly?” inquired the disgusting thing, pulling dirt from the ground with its anxious fingers.
“I would never attempt to enter a mind as vile as yours, so I know not what you assume, and furthermore, care not!” bellowed the aggravated dame.
The thing rolled its eyes into the back of its head and began to dance about wildly, throwing dirt this way and that. Its little legs kicked the air nimbly and its arms hugged its body so they twined around his little torso twice, then three times. Still with its eyes rolled backed and its arms beginning to de-twine, “You are she, you are she!” he licked his huge mouth with his long purple tongue. “You are the daughter of the Black Forest! Created by a nymph who took pity on this evil land, she made you, she made you!” he sang wildly, resuming his crazed dance. Then suddenly he stopped, and stared right into her eyes. His were gleaming with delight and seriousness. “I have heard you taste sweeter than the most innocent child.” He cocked his head toward Miranda. “Let me taste you both so I know if the legends are true.”
The woman placed the still sleeping Miranda on the ground behind her, shielding the tired child with her own body. “You will leave us now,” said the woman.
The thing did not listen, but took a step towards her. “Why should I, most precious one? It is in my nature to eat sweet morsels, such as the one you have behind you. What does it matter if you hand her over to me?” he questioned, his head titling, his eyes again turning to the treat behind the woman.
“You will not harm her! Though I do wish to rid myself of her, it will not be to you!” shouted the maiden angrily, baring her sharp teeth.
“But why not? Surely you wish to leave this path unharmed. Give me the child, and I will stop myself from devouring you as well.” offered the thing, but the woman was having none of that.
“Be gone!” she roared, and at that, the creature flung himself on top of her his arms winding around her quickly. She struggled for freedom as he began to open his mouth wider and wider. His eyes rolled back as he leaned down to consume her head in one swift bite. Before he could, the woman transfigured back into a wolf, and tore the creatures head off by the neck with one swift sweep of her paw. Its head rolled next to the now wide awake Miranda, and she began screaming anew.
The wolf growled and then took the shape of the woman once more. “Can you do nothing else?” questioned the woman in regards to the child’s screaming. The girl shook her head weakly, and kicked the things head away with her foot. The woman scooped up the shaking parcel and continued on her way through the forest.
Two hours of walking passed, but this time it was done by the two females. Miranda’s foot had healed now completely, for you see, she had swallowed the woman’s blood, and with it, her healing power. “Will I always heal this way now?” questioned the eager girl, but the woman simply shook her head. “I have no reason to believe so. If, by chance, someone were to have sucked out all my blood, then maybe it is possible. In your case it is not likely.”
The woman stopped abruptly. Another creature had found them.