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A-Z Name Prompts – N

Apologies for the delay, friends. I meant to have this out two weeks ago but there were problems with my computer screen, and then the following week would have confused my neat and tidy blogging order, so it didn’t happen then, either. And there won’t be one in two weeks, because I’ll be on holiday then πŸ™‚ Unless I’ll get one ready in advance… Hmm… Watch your my Twitter, friends!

This one was written over two sessions, partly on paper and partly right here, and I didn’t edit it a hell of a lot, so be kind and lower your expectations, pwease :’)

Here’s the last poll’s winner:

Thank you to everyone who voted! We’re halfway through the alphabet, so I’ll have to come up with something new soon-ish. I’m open to ideas πŸ˜‰

As always, if the prompt speaks to you, feel free to use it. If you do, please link back here so I can be nosy! πŸ˜‰

***
Naida

(f; water nymph)

I was an adventurer, you know. Not by trade or anything – I don’t think you can be – but I loved visiting new places. Seeing the impossible and the ‘dangerous’ was what had originally drawn me away from home and into the world. Over the past year I’d visited all kinds of haunted places, but now that I was almost back home, with my parents, I felt more lost than I had done in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a map and no wifi signal.

I wasn’t ready to go home. I just wanted one last adventure before it was back to the routine, you know? One last rush of discovery and freedom. So when I saw the signpost I’d jumped off the bus from the airport to visit the swamps which stretched out ahead of me now.

The legend went that a girl went missing in the swamps when she ran away from her family, like two hundred years ago or something like that. Her father wanted to marry her to some rich chap or whatever, and she didn’t want to. So she fled to the swamps and lured young men into her lair to spite her father. I didn’t believe the stories but they did add a bit of extra chill, and made any old ruin come alive. Or any old swamp, as it were.

I entered the swamps under the worried glances of the locals, and just wandered for a while. There was nothing specific I hoped to find, I just wanted to see another haunted place before my journey came to an end. This wasn’t the most exciting stop on my list, but it was better than ending my trip and getting a day job, you know? Grown-up responsibilities could wait another day.

I did get a little carried away taking pictures of creepy branches and things like that. I’d studied Photography before I went on this trip, and had taken my camera more as an obligation than an actual desire to document everything, but it had turned into a bit of an obsession. Maybe I’d develop the rolls to find a ghost on one of the frames – you never know, am I right?

As I said, I got carried away. One moment you’re taking pictures of some branches someone had arranged to look like a shelter or something, the next you realise the sun is setting and you have no clue where you are. I took one last picture of the arranged branches to prove that some locals did come here every now and again – probably to freak out travellers – and tried to find my way back.

“Are you lost?”

I’m not proud of the yelp that escaped me when I jumped.

A girl with silver eyes and silver hair watched me with an amused smile on her lips. I knew the locals had been lying! Or maybe she was part of the attraction? I wondered how much she got paid for scaring the wits out of unsuspecting travellers.

She laughed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. You looked lost, is all.”

I sighed. “Yeah, I kinda am. Could you show me the way out of here? Please?”

She smiled, and a shiver ran down my spine. It was the strangest feeling, like her smile was genuinely warm, but something behind it chilled me more than the late autumn weather had done all day. Just odd, you know?

“Follow me.”

I blamed my jumpiness on how idiot-me hadn’t eaten anything all day, and followed her back the way I had come. Or at least I hoped it was. Everything looked the same to me out here.

We were still walking when it got dark. If it hadn’t been for the full moon and the stars I wouldn’t have seen anything but the girl in front of me.

“Perhaps you should stay the night,” she said without turning around to face me. “We’re still a way off, and it’ll only get colder and harder to see. My place isn’t far from here.”

I shivered, but she was right. It was cold and I hadn’t brought a jumper.

“That’s all right, I’m sure it’s not–”

She turned around then, and I swallowed my words. The moonlight brought out her soft, pale features. Why could I see her so clearly when everything else was disappearing in darkness?

“Stay with me.” Her voice was a whisper. Something else was hidden underneath it, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Loneliness? Lust? Hold old was she?

Then she stood right in front of me, and my eyes were drawn to her. I couldn’t look away, and I couldn’t help noticing that she was definitely a grown woman. Probably around my age, actually.

“Stay with me.”

I couldn’t speak, so I nodded. She smiled, and took my hand into hers. It was warm and freezing both at once. Something at the back of my mind told me that was wrong, but I couldn’t– Why was I here again? Wasn’t there something I’d been meaning to do? Somewhere I wanted to go? You know, I couldn’t remember.

“You want to come with me. Isn’t that right?”

I nodded. There was nothing I wanted more. She stepped so close I could feel her legs brush against mine, and leaned against me. Her bright silver eyes looked into my own, and it took my breath away how beautiful she was. Silver hair, pale skin, slender frame. And she wanted me to stay with her. Just me. Us. Alone.

She was so close I could feel her breath on my lips. I’d never wanted to kiss anyone so badly.

And then she kissed me, her lips freezing against mine, and emptiness poured into me.


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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

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