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At last she leaned in and whispered - a writing prompt

(Writing to a writing prompt. There was a beautiful line in Memoirs of a Geisha as I was doing a blackout poetry with my old copy of it. I couldn't use the line in that poem, so I wanted to use it in another piece of fantasy writing. Here's what I wrote.)

Ahead of me, not several steps, a creature so fair, the likes I’d never seen before and was sure I’d never see again. Leaves woven into her deep brown hair, and skin the colour of rich moss. She turned my way, and her eyes were molten bronze and seemed to stare into my core, and then a playful smile danced upon her face.

She skipped my way, and had I been paying attention to her feet, I’d have seen roots stepping on grass. A tree spirit.

She stopped just in front of me and held out a hand, delicate fingers made of light brown twigs, but more supple than a gifted weaver, running through my long hair. Her eyes showed almost as much awe and I was sure were mirrored in mine.

My breath caught to have such a vision so close to me, and I was certain my thudding heart would be heard in the silence that followed.

At last she leaned in and whispered. “I’ve not known a female human before … they only send the males. Do they hope you will sate me?”

I swallowed. For years, the town had been sacrificing men to this creature to sate her urges as a bargain that she’d help control the forest and not let it overgrow the human settlement. But once she’d finished with them, the men never returned.

I was part of their new plan.

I stared into her eyes as bravely as I could, keeping her gaze, hoping for the sake of my little siblings I could satisfy her long enough to keep them safe even for a little longer from the wild and enchanted trees.

“Very well, then. This will be fun,” she purred softly like the wind brushing the leaves.

She took my hand and led me deeper into the darkness of the ancient and overgrown forest, and I swore I felt roots twisting about beneath my feet.

I steeled myself, trying to be brave, until she turned her divine face back to smile at me as she walked, revealing several rows of sharp, thorn-like teeth.

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