Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The two forest sprites hovered near the campfire, beaconing to the men to join them in the forest. One of the campers, intrigued by the seductive possibilities and ribbed on by his friends, went with them. The lovely sprites escorted him out of view of the flickering firelight, deep into the woods where night shadows reigned. Whatever it was they did, it was over before the remaining campers could sing even three songs. Then the nymph-like creatures returned to lure the next man along with them. Halfway between midnight and dawn all but one of the men had left with the two sprites. That final man remained resolute, telling himself he would never go with them, regardless of what they might try. They planted wild forest pleasures in his imagination but still he resisted. They implored his manhood with voices tasting like sugar. But he did not surrender. Something told him they might lead him to an empty spot in the heart of the forest and turn him into a tree. All at once the sweet voices ceased. Only the sounds of the crackling campfire flames were heard as the two creatures retreated irretrievably into their forest realm. At daybreak, the lone survivor ran through the rows of trees, feet falling on sunlight strewn here and there on fallen leaves. He found his friends, broken men, all of them. Broken financially. The sprites had sold them worthless lots of quicksand deep in the woodland swamp, for all the money they had.

Story #149