Good job with this one. You can really understand the character's desire for a simple life surrounded by nature. I was surprised by the ending, but I realize you may have foreshadowed the attack when you mentioned what the Xarnen represented. I prefer splitting different ideas into different paragraphs, as it helps me organize the story better and, hopefully, makes the read smoother for the audience. I made some small corrections as I was reading, which I included below if you're interested. Overall, great job. I enjoyed the read.
Long ago, there was a forest. Its trees were as white as the crisp fallen snow in winter, spotted with dots as black as fresh charcoal. The forest was peaceful, where only the sounds of singing birds, leaves rustling under the whistling wind, and the rustle of animals rooting in the underbrush. The forest was the epitome of peace and serenity. Within the quiet forest, there was a lake. This lake was settled in the middle of the forest. It appeared like everything revolved around this one grand lake. The perfectly rounded lake was the color of crystal sapphire, a deep blue. Deep enough to hide the secrets that lie at the bottom but clear enough to display the wonderous, diverse ecosystem that thrived near the top. If one were to look into the crystal waters, one would see lean, pint-sized fish decorated in colors of prestige and patterns of exquisite design, and the shuffling sand, home to crimson crabs and bottom-dwelling organisms. One might even have the luck to catch sight of a Xarnen, the most beautiful of all the creatures that swam and sifted through the water and sand. Shimmering red ruby scales, deep blue streaks swimming around its curved body. Long, sharp teeth contrasted to its alluring body. Sadly even something so beautiful is only an omen to something far more terrible. When a Xarnen is found swimming along the coast, a shadow will always quickly follow to loom over the peaceful forest.
One day, a man had dreamt of living off the land, chopping wood to make a cozy cabin, hunting skipping deer to feed himself, carving batches of timber to make statues of the sights he witnessed, then selling them to buy furniture and cosmetics to liven up his isolated home. The man loved that thought so much that he chose to put it into action. He drove for days, weeks, and months, living off of the scattered restaurants and bars he came across. He was determined to find the forest from his dreams, where animals thrived and the peace and quiet could silence even the loudest of men. Soon his hopes came to fruition. He caught sight of a gorgeous grove, far from any human activity. After driving off road, his detour presented him with the perfect place to settle down. But first, of course, he had to look around the woods. So he walked for a mile or two before reaching the first line of trees. Already amazed by the quality of wood, he simply could not contain his excitement. He breathed in the crisp cold air and then set foot into the forest. Sadly, he did not realize that he was disturbing the harmony of everything there. Not a single human had ever stood on that ground. So as soon as his soles were crunching on the leaves, every being inside that forest turned their heads, and every sound stopped, listening to the human that ventured a little too far. Yet eventually, everything returned to how it was before. The animals went back to hunting and grazing, the water continued to flow, and the trees continued swaying with the wind. The man continued on into the forest. Step by step, he cheerfully made his way into a delightful clearing. On the way, he witnessed nature at its finest. Never in his life had he seen such balance within nature. The way the leaves rustled with the wind, the deer didn’t mind the sounds he made, and the birds tearing worms from the dirt and then flying back to their nests to feed the younglings. Then leaving the shade of the trees and stepping into a sunny clearing made his heart flutter with excitement. The thought of living here every day made him grin from ear to ear. He had decided he would make this clearing his new home.
Months went by so fast that it felt like they were being swept away by the wind. During these months, the man had made himself a cozy warm cabin. It took weeks to create the cabin the way he wanted. After chopping down countless trees in the area and making the clearing even bigger, he used the wood to create a wonderful base for how he wanted his home to be. But, he was never satisfied, so he had constantly rearranged, removed, and built new and old things, till on his sixth try, he had created a home that made him proud.
Another few weeks went by. The man had started to decorate his new home with furniture he made from the snow-like trees of the forest. He was filling his house with objects of familiarity and a woodsy aesthetic to make his home feel like it naturally fit with the scenery around it. Eventually, he had finally finished, then all that was left was to start up his business, but he was getting quite famished, so he ventured out to have a meal. He grabbed his rifle and a hand axe, propped them both on his shoulder and hip and left the house.
Hunting had gotten familiar to him. After doing it so much for the past few months, everything felt natural to him. How quietly he has to be to stalk his prey, how to steadily handle the gun to get a clear shot, then the way to cut and clean the meat he would eat. But after so much hunting, food had gotten scarce. Before, he could find herds of deer frolicking about and then kill one or two to feed himself for a couple of days. But nowadays, that is getting quite rare. So he decided to leave his usual hunting spot, a small grove with a little pond where small and big mammals loved to gather. He decided to go north, even further into the woods. He had never gone too far; he was too busy building his house and enjoying his new home to do that. Eventually, he reached the middle of the peaceful forest. He was amazed at how beautiful the environment looked. The huge crystal lake in the middle, surrounded by snow-white trees, was a sight to behold. He chose to get a closer look at the lake in the middle. He was hoping there would be swarms of fish for him to eat. And lucky for him, there was! He was ecstatic. He jumped around, rolled in the pure green grass, and even jumped into the lake.
Quickly swimming out to not scare too many fish, he stripped to avoid getting his clothes too wet. He slowly stepped into the water, grabbed his hand axe, then swung at the fish swimming by. His swings were powerful, easily pushing the water away and tearing into the flesh and bones of the fish. Spilling blood into the water somehow attracted more fish to the area, which meant more fish would be hacked and eaten by him. He hungrily massacred tens of dazzling fish, then grouped them all into a makeshift net and swam out of the lake. Suddenly a streak of red and blue flashed past his vision. He quickly turned around, trying to find the source of the sudden blast of color.
His eyes caught a long red fish swimming not too far from him. He knew he had to catch it and eat it. It could be the best meal he has had here. He carefully swam towards it. Then making his way to the small beach where he could stand, he got closer and closer to his prize. Then WHACK! He swung his axe down and cut the fish's head clean off, spilling blood into the water. The man was satisfied. He wrapped the crimson fish into his net and made his way back. But before he could even step out onto the golden sand, a small shadow appeared in front of him.
Suddenly the small shadow began to grow. Within seconds the shadow was already encompassing the man in a dark cocoon. The man started to tremble. The shadow only continued growing. After a few minutes, it had even reached the size of half the lake. A low but loud rumble began to rupture from the depths of the lake. The man started to sweat profusely; this was the most frightening moment of his life. He quickly dashed out of the water and darted into the safety of the trees. But before reaching them, he heard the constant rush of water and something emerging from the dark depths. He turned around to face what was behind him. Gripping his axe gave him courage, but that courage was short-lived. As soon as he turned around, his mouth went agape, his limbs went numb, and the color drained from his skin. If someone did not know what he looked like before, they might have mistaken him for a corpse.
The man had seen something so horrifying that his only emotion was pure anguish. His legs buckled underneath him, and he fell to his knees. He could not take his eyes off the dreadful creature in front of him. Then the creature spoke in a low, quaking voice. “YOU HAVE DISTURBED THE PEACE OF MY FOREST! YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR TRANSGRESSION IN BLOOD!” A tentacle wrapped itself around the man's leg and then yanked him under the water. Bubbles began to fill the surface, and low gurgling could be heard. Then silence. The indescribable horror returned to its lair, and the peace of the forest returned to what it was before the unfortunate intervention.