Duir’s ears turned, the funnel shape absorbed the sounds of fabric that fell and patters of feet though the under grove of plants. In a huge effort his eyes, only mother of pearl in his youth, had only the slight shifting light of rainbow to their black gloss. They were excellent to take the human in, every inch of her foul appearance and increased his heavy heart for he what he must depend on. Her pink figure parted past the forest’s unmarked paths with ease made him curious, pondering the times she burned though his lovely forest unhindered and unchallenged. His arms were against his rib cage while his breathing had softened into a regular pace once more. No longer labored by stabbed pan of flameless fire rippled though his being, left him weaker than he had ever known.
It took moments, barely enough time to digest her presence, before her aid came, her lithe body stood before him. Why didn’t she kill him? Any human would find his antlers more than fitting to decorate their houses of stone or wood, even present it to the king of the land for a gift and well bearings, or to craft strong tools from even. Did she just like seeing him like this? Or did she truly pity him for what he had become?
Duir was a god, none could pretend otherwise but he was a fallen one. His wound should have healed over long ago leaving him free to trample off, the human forgotten in his sprint away. By all accounts she shouldn’t have hit him at all in the beginning. It seemed his forest was in far worse condition, much more neglected by him, and definitely dying from the humans in his land. Always poison, nothing more they could be. The words sounded less sure in his head even as he looked to the human, her face lit by surprise as a strange thought pranced in the light of his mind, didn’t she know the stories? His heart sank to his own amazement, the thin layer of ice cracked only for a moment.
Duir obeyed, his eyes wandered aimless upon his body noting the loss of luster, his pasty skin, even his hooves were becoming ashy grey. He was fading. There was no struggle or movement, his body still as stone he was born while he felt her fingers peel away the sticky rags. The moisture rewetted the dried remnants of her previous mending and a stinging of wine, amber in color, ran down his side into dirt beneath. Duir glanced to her clothes, flayed from the tears and shreds of his new wrappings. His mind was still weak and even with the change was threatening to take him once more.
It took moments, no minutes that seemed shorter, before he answered in a weakened voice,” Glade’s Stream…” he took his hard finger and pointed east, beyond where he pointed laid a meadow untouched but was empty of life as the rest of his forest. Despite its beauty, unmarred flowers swayed with the winds, it still was dying none the less. Beside it was the only clear stream lazily cutting the forest in half and out to the humans outside, the flow started from his woods only to end with them. Once more, his lids slid down over his sight leaving him blind to happenings to come.