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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6. The Square

Lunchtime came and once again I took a sandwich to sit in the square. The market was not on today and as a consequence the area was virtually empty compared with the previous day. I sat and ate the sandwich between sips of water. When it was gone a glance at my watch showed that it was still fifteen minutes before I needed to return. The sun was high in the sky with white cotton wool clouds moving very slowly across the sky.  I pulled the watch out of my jacket pocket and ran it under my fingers. The warmth of the watch was reassuring, its ticking made me feel it had a heart and of course it reminded me of both my father and my grandfather. I recollect it hanging on a chain from my grandfather’s waistcoat, remember the first time he opened the back and showed me its workings whilst I sat on his knee one Christmas Day. Now I kept it with me but rarely used it preferring a wristwatch for everyday use.

As I held it in my hands I looked up again to the sky and noticed one of those large dragonflies swooping across the square. They were strange insects, ones that I’d never seen before in any part of the country except here. I thought about the face I’d seen on its head and dismissed it as a trick of the light. I watched it pass above me and then out of sight down the street to the library.

xxxx

I flew back in into the town at lunchtime. As I swooped over the square I noticed the young man sitting on the same bench as yesterday, clearly a creature of habit. He looked up as I flew past and for a moment I thought he might recognise me but he turned his head down and examined the watch he was holding. I landed in a quite corner of a nearby street. Usually I morphed into human form outside town and walked in, but knowing that it was Tieval’s lunchtime made me determined to get into town at that time. As it was an open place I cast a spell on the area so that people wouldn’t see me morph into my human form. I moved out into the street straightening my skirt as I walked along.

As I entered the square I saw that Tieval was sat with his back to me. I stopped dead in my tracks, how would I approach him, I giggled to myself, a nervous reaction. It was as a thought though, I hadn’t spoken to many humans and this was the first one that I liked. I wanted to talk to him but wasn’t how to start a conversation. As I was stood contemplating the options I noticed him stand and stretch. He turned and started to walk towards me. I stood rooted to the spot, I couldn’t morph now and it was too open to manage to mesmerise people. I put my head down and looked at my feet hopeful that he would pass and not recognise me, although more of me hoped he would.

xxxx

I’d sat long enough and needed to try to get back on time or face the wrath of Tubshaw. I stood up and stretched to get the stiffness out of my body. I liked sitting but preferred to be active and walk. I turned and headed towards the street leading to our library branch. I was halfway across the square when I saw the girl again. I stopped for a moment to look at her. She had her head down so again I couldn’t make out her facial features. She stood about five feet tall, a slight frame. She wore a neat blue skirt that flared out at the bottom. On her top she wore a plain white sleeveless t-shirt. I wrinkled my face up, she seemed so young, I always found it difficult to judge ages in girls. I walked a few more steps and stood in front of her.

‘Hello,’ I said nervously, ‘are you the girl who returned my bag yesterday, if so thank you’

She raised her head slightly and I got the first real look at her face, the image in my dreams hadn’t done her justice. She was beautiful.  She had a finely sculptured face, her lips were full and radiant but it was the eyes that drew me in. They were deep pools of emotion. As I looked into them I felt a thrill run through my body as if something had connected between us, difficult to explain the electric shock it gave me. I smiled down at her being a good foot taller than she was. Her hair was a mass of brown curls which changed shades in the light, sometimes a mass of blonde whilst at others a deep red colour appeared.

‘Hello,’ she said eventually. There was a touch of the local accent but not pronounced, ‘Yes I brought it, I found it in the forest’

I smiled at her and I saw her lips turn into a smile, beautiful white teeth showing though the gap. It was as if the sun came out, my heart pounded when I saw her smile. At that moment I knew that this was the girl I had been destined to meet all my life, the girl who I was to send the rest of my life with. In my head I wanted to say all kinds of things to this person, but suddenly my tongue got all tied up and the words I wanted to utter crumbled.

‘Well thank you… ‘ I said eventually aware that I was starting to blush, ‘what’s your name?’

‘Ismenia’ she said still smiling.

‘Ah that’s a nice name, unusual. My name is Johannes ’ I said realising how ridiculous the phrase sounded. She still kept smiling however.

We stood there just looking at each other; I have to admit that I was totally captivated with this young girl. Although no words were exchanged I felt that somehow this girl felt the same about me, felt the emotions I was feeling.

There was a commotion behind me and I turned away from her to see a cyclist had collided with one of the bollards. I turned back towards the girl but the space she had occupied had gone. I rapidly scanned the square for a sign of her but was totally mystified that she was no longer there. In the light breeze I could still smell her scent.

Looking down at the flour I saw a single white flower laid there. Bending down I picked it up bringing its pure white petals towards my nose. Breathing in I smelt the girl’s fragrance in the flower. I greedily took it in and in my head could see those beautiful smiling eyes.

The church clock, chiming, broke through my revelry as I realised that once again I was going to be late. Once again I was going to have to bear the wrath of Tubshaws arrows.

Rushing back in to the library I burst through the doors.

‘Is that for me?’ Tubshaw asked, ’some sort of peace offering?’

I looked at her in bewilderment wondering what she was saying until I noticed I was still holding the white flower from the market.

‘It’s OK young man, flowers irritate me, although that is an interesting specimen. Where did you get it?’

‘erm… I found it in the market,’ I replied, ‘what is it?’

‘Well it’s a species of Jasmine, but not from around here, must have been left by a flower seller. Now go and start your work, and don’t be late again’ she said turning her attention back to her task.

I went into the back room and laid the flower on the side. I looked out of the window towards the forest. At the weekend I would return there and see if I could find this girl, somehow I felt the forest may hold the key to her.

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