Authors: Kaye Draper
Text copyright © 2013 Kaye Draper
All Rights Reserved
To those who believe in things
he sound of lapping
water filled the humid summer night. Moonlight glinted off the dark surface,
as if diamonds had been scattered there, while frogs and night insects sang an
endless chorus. I slipped out of my clothes, and let them drop to the ground.
Dipping my toes in the cool water, I eased my foot below the surface. The
night was alive, filled with unseen things. My skin was a warm, flaring contrast
to the cold fingers of water that made their way up my lower legs to caress the
soft flesh of my thighs and skim across the curve of my hips.
water bird’s raucous cry shattered the night. My eyes fluttered and I
registered the dim interior of my tent. I could hear the harsh sound of the
night insects and the gentle water close by. My sleep-fogged brain dimly
accepted the chilled touch of the water as it made its way over my thighs and
across my hips. Hands, large and cool, replaced the sensation. They skimmed
my body possessively, slipping across my hips and under my loose t-shirt to cup
my breasts. I smiled as my hands slid over smooth, broad shoulders.
I sighed, still half asleep. It was no surprise he had crept into my tent.
weight covered me, pressing me into the meager softness of my sleeping bag. My
breath left me in a sigh. His knee parted mine and I pressed to him eagerly as
his mouth found my throat. The truly masterful length of him pressed against
my thigh and I arched my back in invitation. He let out a deep moan that made
my skin ripple. I felt him bend his head to me again in the dark, his
movements urgent. Damp tendrils of long hair fell forward, caressing my face
and shoulders. Still fogged with sleep, I was slow to react.
eyes flew open as I lost the last vestiges of sleepiness. His face was hidden
in the dim interior of the tent, but I knew that the broad shoulders I shoved
against didn’t belong to Noah. Noah wore his sandy hair clipped short. He
also didn’t normally smell like pond water.
let out a muffled shriek and he froze, a dark, looming shape in the night. I
wrapped my legs around him and used all the leverage I could muster to shove
him off balance in a scissoring motion. He rolled off me with a curse. Immediately,
I started to crawl to the door flap, but a big, cold hand clamped around my
wrist, stopping me short of my destination. I tugged away from him and drew breath
to scream. His hand covered my mouth, and I inhaled the smell of damp and
earth. Something danced over my skin, cool and rippling like the touch of the water
in my dream.
stopped struggling and a sound outside caught my attention. A twig snapped and
a furtive noise moved past the side of the tent. It wasn’t footsteps. It
sounded more like something heavy was being dragged over the leaf-covered
ground. I couldn’t force myself to call out for help.
instinct shouted. Chill fingers of warning prickled up my spine.
hand at my wrist tugged me back toward the center of the tent. It wasn’t a
forceful motion. Whoever this guy was, he no longer seemed intent on mayhem. I
told myself it was probably some sort of prank. Someone had put him up to
giving me a scare. But what was he doing in my sleeping bag? The big hand
covering my mouth gently slipped away.
are you?” I demanded into the dark.
shook the thick, tangled mass of hair away from my face, and squinted into the
blackness. The bright light of the full moon filtered into the tent, casting
just enough light to make out his dim shape in the darkness.
Christie set you up to this?” Jealousy could make people do some pretty awful
was a motion in the darkness, and my silent companion shook his head as if
trying to clear it. “I apologize sincerely….Do I know you, Miss?” His voice
was a deep, rough whisper. It sounded rusty, as if he hadn’t spoken in a long
time. “Where is this place? How did I come to be here?”
stared into the murky darkness. “Get out of my tent.”
didn’t move. A twig snapped in the woods, a little distance off, and the
figure in front of me went absolutely still. Again, that rippling sensation
flowed over me. I couldn’t even hear him breathing. We sat there for a tension-filled
minute. I can’t explain it, but something just felt wrong about the night
around me. I had the primal urge to cower and hide.
pushed myself forward, searching for my sweats- the ones I had discarded right
before going to bed in the hopes that I might get a midnight visitor. This wasn’t
exactly the visitor I’d been hoping for.
must flee this place.” That deep whisper again, more urgent this time.
searching fingers found the pants. “Who the hell are you and what the hell are
you doing in my tent?”
apologize sincerely. I am… not myself just now.” His voice was sounding a bit
steadier, but it was still rough.
I rummaged around again and came up with a small flashlight. I flipped the switch
and pointed it at the stranger in my tent. He was completely naked, and his pale
skin a sickly grey pallor in the artificial light. He was kneeling on the
ground, looking dazed and disoriented. I took in his odd appearance. He was quite
a bit thinner than Noah, taller, and had ridiculously wide shoulders in
proportion to his skinny frame. He was also covered in mud. Dark hair hung in
damp clumps to mid-back, with bits of twigs and leaves sticking out here and
there. He looked as though he’d been rolling on the ground. His shadowy face
was all harsh angles and sharp lines. His blue eyes were dull. I took
inventory in a split second. That’s all the time I had before his cloudy eyes
sharpened and he launched himself at me.
knocked me over and pinned me to the ground. “Are you mad!” His breath hissed
against my cheek. “Do you want to call them here?”
gritted my teeth and tried to struggle out from beneath him. “I have no idea
what you’re talking about.” I planted a hand against his clammy shoulder and
shoved. “Get off!”
stretched out a long arm and grabbed the flashlight, then smashed it on the
ground. The light went out and we lay in the dark once more. An eerie shriek
came from the direction of the water and I twisted, cowering beneath him. I
had never heard a sound like that. It grated in my bones, and I instantly
broke out in goose bumps. I had never felt such absolute fear.
man tightened his grip on me, as if willing me to be quiet. I didn’t need his urging.
My rested against his dirty shoulder. I took a deep breath of pond-scented air
and held it. I heard a shout a few tents over and people began to stir. What
the hell was going on out there?
levered himself off me and dragged me to my feet. “We need to flee. Now. The
spirits of the forest are restless.”
swallowed. I was beginning to think no one had put him up to this. Maybe he
was a homeless drug addict or something. He was filthy. The scent of earth
and water wafted off him. Maybe he’d just taken a bath in the lake? I inched
are you and what are you doing here?”
sighed heavily. “I am a Kelpie- a fey…I do not know how I came to be here.”
He scooped up the sweats and pulled them on, his motions quick and jerky. He
grabbed my arm again and dragged me toward the tent flap.
this your home?” He paused and lifted the flap aside to peer out into the
night, letting in a stream of silvery moonlight. The pants were way too short,
and way too tight.
not,” I said, rolling my eyes.
? What, was he
please take me to your home.” His long fingers curled around my wrist. He
tugged me out the door, and crept into the woods, towing me in his wake.
responded in a whisper, still afraid of the night around us. “Hello….what? Are
you crazy? I’m not taking you to my house!” I pulled against his grasp ineffectually
for a moment before I just gave up and followed along. Somehow, it seemed a
better option than calling for help.
were shouts from the direction of camp- more confused than alarmed- and I found
myself reluctantly following the pale shadow in front of me. Something was
clearly going on back there, and the hair-standing-on-end feeling I was getting
didn’t exactly make me want to go back to check it out.
need to find a cell phone and call for help,” I whispered.
man turned to glance back toward camp, still dragging me into the woods. “Cell
phone? Your comrades will be fine. The creatures are looking for me.” His
grip on my arm tightened. I rolled my eyes.
paused for a moment, with that utter stillness, before tugging me on. I had
the eerie feeling he was listening to something that I couldn’t hear. “There
has to be some reason I went to you in my confusion. Therefore you will remain
at my side for the time being.” I sighed, he was crazy and confused, and I was
a freaking safety blanket.
deep whisper floated over the heavy night air. “You will be safer if you are
with me. If you return, they will know you have helped me. They can smell
that I could believe. He reeked. I stumbled over a fallen branch and stepped
on something sharp. “Shit!”
I was being towed around the dark woods by a paranoid crazy person. I
considered kicking him somewhere soft and running off, but I was scared he
would wig out. Sure, he looked skinny and frail, but I’ve heard drug addicts
can be crazy strong when they’re all hyped up on crack and adrenaline.
tugged me onward, not allowing me to stop. His pace was fluid and stealthy,
and he didn’t make a sound. Finally, he paused and did that listening thing
again. “Which direction is your home?”
not taking some strange man to my house- especially one who just molested me
while I was sleeping!”
turned back to look behind us, moonlight glinting in his eyes. “I apologize.
I was not myself. I have no notion how I arrived in your tent. I think I have
been under some sort of enchantment. I feel equally set upon.”
made a gesture that I couldn’t quite follow in the dim moonlight. I think he
bowed. “I promise I will not trouble you in that way again.”
rolled my eyes in the dark. “The cars are over here,” I said, tugging him to
the left. “No way are we walking.”
kept a hide-a-key tucked under his wheel well. I would get in his car and
drive this nut to the nearest police department. This guy was confused and he
really seemed to believe he was being attacked by fairies or something. I was
starting to pity him. Whatever he was on must be good stuff.
reached the clearing where the cars were parked, and I froze in disbelief. The
man pulled me behind a tree, shielding me with his body. The cars had been
vandalized. I took in the scene revealed by the dome light of an old station
wagon. Windshields were smashed, tires were flat, and the driver’s side door
of Noah’s Suburban was hanging ajar at a weird angle. As I watched, a side
mirror detached itself and went flying through the air to land on the far side
of the clearing with a muffled thump.
companion tugged me back into the woods. “Which way?” he demanded.
gaped at him. “Did you freaking see that? That thing moved on its own!”