An Interesting Encounter

Celeste sat in the brook in her human form. She sat with her legs crossed and her eyes closed, letting the water run over her legs. She'd stayed by the small stream all night. She didn't particularly know why, perhaps it was in case the wolf came back. He'd left not long after they'd stopped playing. When he'd left, Celeste felt as if she'd lost someone special, even though she'd only known him for less than an hour.

Something made a noise in the trees ahead. Celeste opened her eyes a little. She couldn't see anything, but she knew that didn't mean there was nothing there. She waited for the noise again. The leaves rustled and a young looking woman stepped out. She seemed in her mid-twenties and she wasn't wearing much. Her auburn hair and grey eyes seemed to gleam even though she was standing in the shade.

"What have we here?" she asked in a melodious, tinkling voice. "A lost little girl, sat in the stream. But there's something different about her, indeed there is. 'Tis an interesting child we have. Oh, her eyes! They glitter like the stars."

Celeste had no idea if the woman was talking to her, or to someone else. This woman seemed different, human, but different. Her entire being seemed to shine slightly, as though she had her own invisible sun.

"Child, what is your name?" asked the woman.

"Why should I tell you?" replied Celeste.

"Because I wish to know."

"Yes, but why?"

"Because..." The woman didn't have an answer.

"You're a witch, aren't you?"

"'Tis true I have been called that. Though not in a long while. I've had no human contact for years, though you're no human, like many of the beings that roam these woods. Bardi, no? Bardi taste quite nice in a hot stew, you know?" Celeste narrowed her eyes at this. "Perhaps I should take you back to my hut and cook you for my dinner. Mm-hm, that's what we'll do."

The witch took a step towards Celeste, who jumped up as soon as she moved. She didn't particularly want to be part of a stew. She was about to transform when an arrow suddenly struck the witch from behind, piercing her chest. She looked down in confusion and fell to the ground. Standing not far behind her a man. His deep orange eyes showed he obviously wasn't human.

"I'd be more careful around here if I were you," he said, looping his arm through the bow so it sat across his chest. "So, you're Bardi?"

"Yes..." Celeste trailed. "What about you?"

"I'm a Kitsune," he said.

Celeste didn't know much of Kitsune, but she knew there were two types; one of them was benevolent and liked to help, the other was tricksy and preferred to cause mischief and trouble.

"What kind?" she asked.

"Yako."

"But aren't they..."

"Renowned for causing trouble, leading men to their deaths and seducing women? Yes, yes we are."

The End

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