I flew along the Leech River, searching for signs of life caught in the snares hidden in the foliage along the bank. A crisp autumn breeze caught me off-guard, sending me into an airborne somersault before I righted myself and continued my quest.
The first trap I found was empty, as was the second. The third held a skinny, motionless rabbit. I flew in to take a closer look.
Asleep, it was. Pathetic looking, too. Really, how could anyone expect more than a mouthful of bones from this thing? I touched my finger to the snare, and it loosened from around the rabbit’s foot. Freed from the magic coursing through the cord, the animal roused itself and scampered back into the woods. I wasn’t certain I had done the pitiful rodent any favors; it surely would starve by the end of winter.
I passed by another empty trap and released a gamey muskrat from one more before I stumbled upon quite a surprise.
I had seen one just once before, but he had been asleep. I wondered how this one could be immune to the magic.
She tugged on the cord encircling her ankle – a useless endeavor, of course, as it was made from finely woven unicorn hair. She noticed me as I approached, and her eyes lit up with hope. I paused in mid-air for a moment, allowed her to take in my appearance, my purple gossamer wings catching the sunlight with each flutter. It calmed her, and I needed her to be calm, because I knew that one swipe of those giant hands would splinter my bones and crush the life out of me.
I flew in cautiously, then touched the cord that bound her, loosening it, giving her freedom. She nodded her thanks to me.
My stomach grumbled as she lumbered away. As I thought of the last human I had found, the delicious meat on his bones that had kept me fed the entire winter, I was tempted to sneak up on her and sink my tiny fangs into her neck. However, I couldn’t be certain the venom would act in time before she realized my intentions and dealt me a fatal blow.
She moved out of sight, safely on to her village, I supposed, and I went off to check the last of the traps. Empty. I sighed. I should have kept that nasty muskrat.
* * *
Today’s prompt comes from Nikki’s “how we met” story:
We met along the Leech River in Licking Flames County. My foot as caught in a snare and you flew in on your gossamer wings and freed me. I was amazed that such a delicate creature had the courage to free a giant like myself.
Thank you, Nikki, for the inspiration!
If you would like to be featured in one of my flash fiction stories, leave a comment telling me how you and I met — but lie. 🙂 And if you enjoyed this story, please share it using the social media buttons below.