Ismenia

Do you believe in fairies ? Johannes doesn't but a chance encounter in a forest sends him on an adventure where he starts to question not only his beliefs but his own sanity.

From an idea that came to me in a dream. Thanks to the extraordinary Crissy Volt-Green for not just providing me with an amazing cover but also for the inspiration to write this story.

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1. Ismenia

Have you ever wondered how life can change in an instant, how one event can trigger others and like a line of dominos the chain reaction gains speed and inertia as it cascades into the future? Small barely imperceptible moments that at the time you don't even notice. It's only when you look back you see the tangled path that fate has woven in our lives.

I have spent many an evening here in the woods ruminating over events of the past year, wondering if the fickle finger of fate had dealt me a hand worth pursuing or whether it was just a fantasy. As the kettle boils on the fire, I absentmindedly pour scalding water into my mug of jasmine tea glancing into the depths of the flames.

As I stir the mug, my eyes watch the dancing flames of the fire, occasionally seeing visions. Darting images appear and magically disappearing as quickly as they had appeared. There's something magical about fire, it holds a certain primordial feel, life and death all rolled up into one all consuming crucible. Fire warms the body, cooks the food and essentially for me provides water hot enough to brew a decent cup of tea.

Gazing into the flames I saw the image of a horse bounding through the red waves of heat before being devoured by the red hot cloud. Then I saw the face,  it appeared smiling at me from the haze. I sat bolt up right, the sudden action making me spill the hot liquid over my jeans. Ismenia, her face unmistakable, smiled at me before a sudden eruption from the depths of the pit took her image away from me. I moved my face closer to the flames, the heat burning against my face but I didn't flinch away, but kept close just in case the image reappeared. I sat like that until the flames died down and the teas was cold in my mug.

Eventually as the dark invaded the trees I sat back up, Ismenia's face hadn't reappeared and I sat grumpily back against the tree I was leaning against. After all these months of searching, I still hadn't found her. There had been a few reported sightings of a girl matching her description but no one was quite sure if they had seen her or not. I talked to one old lady for over an hour who thought she had seen her but the memory she had was vague. At first I wondered if she was a little senile but her brain seemed so sharp. This made me think even more that she'd met Ismenia. She had the ability to mesmerise people to believing they hadn't seen her. As her powers had got weaker the effect had started to lose its powers meaning you couldn't weave her usual magic on people.

As I sat there my mind turned to despair as I wondered if I would ever find Ismenia. Tears pricked my eyes as I started to come to the realisation that I may never glance on her beautiful face again. Thinking back it had all started with anguish, with desperation. The moment dragged out of time appeared in my mind, events rushing back into my head as though a tap had been turned flooding the mind with memories.

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