Hello everyone, this is Asclepius.
I’m delighted to welcome again our guest narrator JLWChambers, he will be bringing us a great story by Womby, entitled
An Accidental Discovery
Background music is “Haunted – Desolation” by Eric Matyas at http://soundimage.org/
An Accidental Discovery
It was by far the tallest tree in the forest, however its luxuriant foliage and the dense surrounding woods made it impossible to see beyond the first few branches.
Rachel was determined to climb it, for surely it would provide breathtaking views of beautiful autumn scenes that she could capture in her paintings.
Unfortunately the lowest branch was far beyond reach, and she was about to abandon her idea when she noticed a glint of light.
There, just above the lowest branch, something metallic was reflecting the morning sun. It looked like a switch of some kind.
Spurred on by curiosity, Rachel took an arrow from her quiver and slowly pulled back the string on her bow.
The morning breeze had paused, and all was still as she let loose the arrow. A miss, but close.
Trying again, she this time managed to strike the lever, and a weighted rope plunged to the forest floor from somewhere above.
Rachel examined the rope. It was sturdy, seemed fairly new, and was knotted at regular intervals.
Rachel did not hesitate further, and began her ascent. Reaching the lowest branch, she noticed carefully concealed foot and hand holds, and used these to press on.
Her backpack was made large and cumbersome by her easel, so she placed it together with her bow and quiver in a convenient hollow before continuing on.
She was about two thirds of the way up when she noticed the platform above her.
Continuing on she came to a small trapdoor and paused, listening. All she could hear was the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind, the occasional creak of the platform as the tree moved, and some animal sounds from the forest below.
She decided to chance it, and gently pushed up on the trapdoor, lifting her head to see if she could spot any danger. All appeared to be clear, so Rachel pushed open the trapdoor, climbed through, and quickly closed it again.
She found herself in an elaborate multi-story tree house. A wooden ladder led upwards to one or more additional levels, and through the main door she caught a glimpse of a rope bridge extending towards another tree.
Glancing at a table she noticed crafted items of a clearly recognisable style. Elves!
On the wall was a large parchment containing a map of the island. The various towns and villages were clearly circled and annotated in a script that she could not decipher.
Just then she was startled to hear movement from the floor above, and quickly hid under the table.
A pair of legs appeared and walked over to the table, standing on the trapdoor that she had just climbed through.
Carefully Rachel reached forward and released the latch on the trapdoor, and the startled elf disappeared as he plunged over 200 feet to the ground below.
Grabbing the map Rachel hastily folded it and stuffed in her shirt, then retreated the way she had come.