It’s time for the conclusion to this bizarre adventure. Readers have chosen to wait for a better time to free Alex. Let’s see what happens! (P.S. This adventure came about as a response to J.C. Wolfe’s writing prompt. Check it out here.)
Will-O’-The-Wisp Option Ab2: Wait
Maybe if you were right side up and could run, or crouch, or simply move like a regular human being, you’d consider freeing Alex now. But you’re stuck walking on your hands like some circus act and you’re pretty sure you’ll eat dirt if you try to move too fast.
So wait it is.
You let the tree branch you’ve been holding return to its usual spot and back away from the field a few hands. Even with the branches obscuring most of your view, the faint blue light from the crop and the wisps filters through the leaves. The crop doesn’t move, so the wavering quality of the light is either the branches swaying or the wisps moving about. Since there’s no wind, you assume the flickers come from the wisps.
You lean your feet against a tree in an attempt to relieve your shoulders but the ache around the base of your neck doesn’t recede.
You continue to fidget until you realize that you can lie down. Now comfortably on your stomach, you shuffle forward to peek beneath the branch.
You come face to face with a blue flame.
Although your body wants to run, the flicker of transparent blue holds you. It weaves back and forth in an undulating motion that draws your eyes right and left.
“Brave,” whispers in your ears, “and possibly stupid.” There’s a long sigh that pulls tears to your eyes. So much emotion plays through that single, almost inaudible sound. “No one comes this far for a friend.”
“I do,” you say. Your voice comes out soft for your human voice but here, where words play on the wind, it sounds harsh and loud.
“You do,” the wisp agrees. “For that, I will help you take your friend home. Will you be brave one more time?”
You nod instead of voicing your agreement.
“Hold your breath.”
Before you can react, the wisp rushes over you and you’re wreathed in flames.
A scream threatens to escape but the wisp hushes you as though anticipating the reaction.
“Hold your breath and walk with me.”
The flame surrounding you does not burn, you realize. It caresses your skin like a glove and nudges you to walk into the field of humans.
You walk, following the gentle nudging of the flame surrounding you.
“Walk to your friend,” the wisp instructs and moves with you as you move, on your hands, to face Alex.
His eyes are alert and he grins when he makes out your face within the flames.
“Dig him up,” whispers the wisp.
Balanced on one hand, you scoop dirt away from Alex’s arms until he’s able to pull his hands free.
“Now race for the hole and dive into it. You must dive feet first. Now go. I can protect you no longer,” the wisp leaves your skin and rushes away through the field, making the planted humans sway away from its wake of wind.
Alex grins and you both take off, racing on your hands for the hole in the swamp.
Blue flame races after you.
“Watch this,” Alex yells and spins to run on his hands backwards. He puffs up his cheeks and blows a gust of air at the chasing wisps. His breath seems to push on them, forcing them backwards for a moment.
“Time to dive,” you tell Alex and, just before the wisps overtake you, you both spring from your hands and dive feet first into the hole.
The world goes topsy-turvy and your equilibrium flips in a way most unsettling to your stomach.
Then you find yourself clinging to a tree root in the light of day of the swamp. Alex gages beside you, retching into the hole you just left.
“That was crazy!” he exclaims as soon as he can talk. “And no one will ever believe us!”
You give him a long look. “They might,” you say and pull his hand up so he can see his skin. It glows a faint blue. In the daylight, it’s hard to see, but when night falls, he’ll light up a campsite with an azure glow.
“Well, that’s new,” he says but the change to his skin can’t keep the grin from his face for long.
Yay! You succeeded at saving Alex. Well done!
Blessings and see you for the next adventure starting on the 6th,