TITLE: Fey Moon
Marian knelt by the narrow stream, watching the puddle jumpers. The blue sparks danced just out of reach as she dipped her hand in. The playful creatures didn't cheer her, nor did the trickling of the stream or the pair of whistler birds singing courtship. The sounds of the forest were eclipsed by weeping. Usually the ethereal crying was contained to one clearing, but now it resonated through all the trees.
She stood and wiped her hands on her knee-length tunic. Why was the sorrow so powerful today? She caressed the smooth bark of one of the oaks, fighting off the urge to add her own tears. "My own burdens seem lighter, knowing even the woods have their own sorrows. I wish you could tell me your story." Maybe she was crazy, talking to trees. Nevermind the weeping.
A branch snapped in the distance. Marian quickly pulled away from the tree and looked to the noise. If someone overheard her, the rumors would start again.
Voices came from the direction of the village.
Slipping quietly through the trees, Marian strained to hear through the underlying noise.
A husky male voice came through clearest. "Quit jumping at rabbits and get back to work."
A few more steps and she should be able to see them, but still be hidden in leafy shadows.
A loud thwack jarred her to a stop. It sounded like someone cutting firewood. But why would she hear that now? In the woods? No one cut down healthy trees.