Chapter 1: Injured Strangers
She’d been alarmed to see her waters stain red one afternoon. The heat of the sun splayed all over the surface of her cooled stream, causing her to stay underwater for now. Plunged hands called her attention upward, floating to the surface her dark hair splayed over the waters alarming the injured man back.
“You taint my beautiful waters red.” Her soothing voice echoes in his head. He sits shocked for a moment.
“I-I’m sorry ma’am.” The man replies. Her eyes drift towards his bloodied hands and torn shirt from obvious injury. “I just needed to clean the blood, there was so much.” Avalon’s eyes look to his face. He looked too soft… too kind to cause any damage. She fully rises from the water, the man consumed by her gentle beauty. Cream robes draped so delicately over her tanned skin, silk black hair falling over her shoulders.
“What is your name mortal?” Her words seem as gentle as her.
“V-Vernon, ma’am.” With shaky hands he pulls his hat off out of respect, blood now staining the leather.
“I am Avalon, watcher over these waters.” She motions to the stream for a moment. “How were you injured?” Avalon moves closer to the bank now.
“In a fight. I got caught up in a bad area around here.” Vernon’s hand covers the wound.
“Why were you fighting?” She asks, her hands tying up her long hair.
“I was on a journey through here and someone tried to rob me.” He answers honestly. “I’m trying to find a portal that was described to me, but this person happens to be quite bad at directions.” Avalon takes a moment, weighing her options.
“Come into my waters, I can aid you.” Reaching out a hand to him he’s hesitant at first. “I assure you I do not strive to injure you further Vernon.” With a voice as sweet as hers he takes her hand and begins to wade into the water. Fully clothed. The blood stains his button-up shirt, the water diluting the bright red. Her touch is gentle against his rough hands as she leads him deeper and deeper.
“How’re you standing miss?” The water was reaching just below his armpits while standing and she seemed much much smaller than him, at least, based on the side of her hands against his.
“I am one with the water, I need not worry of its depth.” She answers, her eyes meeting him for a moment. “Your upper robes.” Vernon stares at her for a moment. Her hands tapped her shoulders a few times, as to translate what she meant.
“My shirt?” Avalon nods, confused by the term.
“Your… shirt.” Vernon slips the shirt off, tossing it along the banks of her stream. Careful her hand rises from the water, a small swirl of water remaining in her palm as it stays. He watches carefully, her blueish-green eyes glowing slightly as the water moves under her command. Placing her hand on the cut across his chest the cool of the water covers the wound, the chill causing Vernon to shiver for a moment's time. After a few seconds, the deep cut starts to disappear before his very eyes. Avalon’s hand returns to the water as she steps away from him.
“You may use my waters to clean yourself. The longer you stay in the better for your wounds.” She instructs, sinking to her shoulders in the water.
“Thank you, ma’am.” Vernon graciously looks at her.
“You’re welcome mortal.” She goes to fully submerge, but Vernon is still intrigued by her existence.
“W-Wait! Ma’am, Miss Avalon!” His pleading stops her. “Do you know if there’s a portal anywhere around here? It’s green and rainbow, from what I was told.” Avalon rises from the water to look at him.
“I have not, but downstream there was a disturbance. Maybe that is the portal you seek.” She instructs, seemingly intrigued by the idea of this ‘portal’. “May I accompany you to this portal?”
“I would love the company, Miss Avalon.” Vernon cheekily smiles, his hands scrubbing away the grime and dried blood from his skin. “Will you be ok to leave your place of residence?”
“If there is water where we go, I will be safe.” Avalon didn’t know why she suddenly craved exploration, let alone with this mortal man that she just met. But she was intrigued.
“I guess then, we’ve a portal to find.”
“That we do.”