short story, story promptThe 100th Day is here! Can’t believe I’ve actually managed to write 500+ words of a new story every day for 100 days! Only 266 to go…

Kymeron is out hunting when a beautiful but badly traumatised nymph crosses his path. She is terrified of him, so can he convince her that he only wants to help her?


“Impossible,” he breathed. Crouched low in the concealing underbrush of the forest, Kymeron gazed at the stunning creature that moved cautiously through the glade. He shouldn’t have been able to see her at all – the woodland nymphs had been extinct for nearly fifty years, but he was sure that’s what she was.

As if sensing something, she turned her head his way. He stayed completely still, not even daring to breathe. If he spooked her now, he’d likely never see her again, even if he spent the rest of his life searching the forest.

Her large brown eyes searched through the gaps between the tree trunks and flitted over the spot where he’d been sitting for the past hour. She didn’t seem to notice him and turned her attention back to the centre of the clearing.

He watched her closely. He wanted to remember every detail about her so that he could boast to the other hunters in the village. Tall, slender antlers grew from her head, their bases concealed by her thick, chestnut hair. Her short dress was made of the autumn leaves and forest moss. Flowers decorated her hair and she walked barefoot through the glade.

He frowned. She was walking oddly, with a slight limp. Was she injured? He couldn’t see much from where he was hidden, but she seemed to be trying not to put too much weight on her left leg. A few moments later, she sank to the soft grass in the middle of the clearing with a small moan and sat basking in the warm sunshine.

It took him a few moments longer to realise that tears were running down the nymph’s face. His heart missed a beat. What has she suffered to make her cry on such a beautiful day? Slowly, he placed his hunting bow on the ground beside him and very carefully removed the quiver of arrows. He couldn’t just sit here and watch her cry. He had to do something.

Getting to his feet, he stepped out from behind the bush he’d been hiding behind and stepped warily into the clearing. The nymph’s head whipped around and her eyes widened in fear. Kymeron stopped at the very edge of the glade and held his hands up.

“I’m not here to hurt you,” he said softly. “I saw you crying. Do you need help?”

She scrambled to her feet and backed away. She didn’t get far before her bad leg gave out and she collapsed to the ground. Brown eyes stared at him distrustfully, full of terror, but she didn’t attempt to move again. She seemed almost resigned. He couldn’t fathom what she was so afraid of or what she expected him to do.

“Can I look at your leg?” he asked. “I might be able to help. My father is a physician and I’ve helped him out with a lot of injuries.”

The slightest flicker of confusion crossed her face as she glanced at her leg then back at him. Was she surprised that he would help her? She didn’t answer him, so he took a few steps towards her. She cringed away from him as he stopped only a metre or two away from her.

Glancing at her leg, he could tell that something pretty serious was wrong with it. He wasn’t as skilled as his father, but it looked like the leg had been broken and was still healing, but not properly. It needed to be set and supported, otherwise she’d have problems walking for the rest of her life.

His eyes narrowed as he noticed numerous scars criss-crossing the skin on her legs. A brief check revealed that they didn’t stop at her legs. Her arms were covered in them too and he could even see a fresher one marring the smooth skin of her right cheek.

“What happened to you?” he breathed, shocked. Someone had intentionally tortured this poor nymph. He looked her in the eyes. “Are you running away? Has someone hurt you?”

She bit her lip, eyes filling once more. She gave him a single nod.

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