Today's story takes us back to the beginning, all the way back to "Don't Go Near the Well." Click read more below to see what happens next with Isaac after "Flight from Mab's Castle" and "Not Quite First Contact."
“No matter what you do, don’t drink the water.”
“Are you nuts? We’ve been without for almost two days, and it’ll be ages until we reach another well!”
“I don’t care. Do not drink the water.”
Ukira watched Isaac stalk off down the trail. She looked at the old, moss covered well and then to her big brother. “But we can’t last as long as you, Isaac,” she tried to reason. “Do you want Benari and me to get sick?”
Isaac stopped. His shoulders drooped, and he hung his head. “No,” he said. He sighed and turned back around. When he looked up, his eyes got big, and he ran toward them.
Ukira reeled back away from the flailing human as he flung himself at Benari. Isaac’s hands clamped down over Benari’s tentacle, stopping him from drawing up the bucket. Ukira shivered. Isaac was nice enough, and he was interesting. But there was something about human hands she found creepy.
“We’re in fae territory,” Isaac hissed. “Don’t drink the water. Don’t eat the food.” He lifted his hands and gestured to himself. In the days since he’d popped out of nowhere in their back garden, he’d lost a lot of weight. His eyes were sunken, and his bones stood out in stark relief. “Do you want to end up like me?”
Ukira shook her head, and Benari let out an agitated burble. Her brother released the well’s crank and stepped away.
“We can only last another day or two at most,” he said.
“I know.” Isaac dropped his hands down by his sides and frowned. “That’s why I didn’t want you two to come,” he said. “I thought the warnings were just fables, even after I found out the fae were real, but just look at me! One bite, one sip, and mortal food and drink will never satisfy you again.”
His eyes slid to the side, and he gazed at the well with as much longing as Ukira and Benari. Isaac’s jaw clenched and unclenched a few times, and his fingers flexed before he curled them into fists. He sighed before drawing himself back to his full height again.
“I’ll walk you two back home,” he said and took off back in the direction they’d come.
Ukira quivered and looked at her big brother. Benari didn’t look happy either, but he followed along after the human. When she didn’t follow, he paused and reached out toward her. Ukira keened and wrapped her tentacle around his larger one, letting him lead her back toward home.
The three walked for hours through misty woods. The sun began to set, painting the path in burgundy and deep blues. They could see a small clearing ahead and trudged toward it, exhausted and longing to set up camp for the night. Yet when they arrived, all three shivered to see a quaint little well identical to the one they’d seen earlier in the day.
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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