tagNon-EroticThe Wee Flower

The Wee Flower

byJames MacGregor©

She lay atop the small rise watching him moving through the glen below. Her heart skipping a beat when she saw his head lift up into the morning sun then look upwards along the hill. Their eyes met, even at this distance she could make out that familiar twinkle. She could see the smile on his lips when he raised his hand and waved. She could feel her throat constrict. For she knew as soon as he cleared the ridge at the far end of the glen, he would be gone forever.

The images of the past came flooding into her mind. She remembered how it had been before the hated red coats had come to sweep the land with fire and sword. Those were happy times, innocent times.

She had to make her way in life early when her family had run afoul of a neighboring clan in the next glen over. A hard winter had forced her parents to take a couple of the clan’s sheep to feed her and her brothers and sisters. The clan did not take this affront lightly.

She shuddered as she remembered that misty morn when the clansmen fell upon her and her family. The screams and the shouts, the crack of musket fire and the horrific sight of her mother thrashing on the ground in agony caused her to loose an uncontrolled whimper. How her father had thrown himself at the attackers but was speared through the chest and went down in a flurry of sword blows.

She remembered crawling, further back into the hole beneath an old oak where her mother had sought to hide her. She had shook in abject terror as the clansmen gleefully slaughtered her brothers and sisters. How they had thrown dry grass and sticks into their home as kindling then set it alight.

Her eyes had widened in renewed terror when he suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He was a monstrous eight-foot nightmare, with a vaguely human shape and a massive wolf’s head. His fearsome fangs and claws flashing as he tore the stunned clansmen to shreds before they could react.

Moments later he stood with gore dripping from his huge maw filled with enormous fangs as his chest heaved and claws convulsed reflexively. He turned slowly, sniffing the air for scent of further danger, then as if by magic reverted into the shape of a man. His long hair was wild and unkempt. His torso lean and muscular but marred by scars of battle.

Her mother had told her stories of this one, the Deamhan Madadh-Alluidh, the Demon Wolf. She thought they were just tales to frighten her and her brothers into behaving themselves. But, there he stood. The tales of his ferocity were all true.

He knelt by the bodies of her family she heard his low moan of sorrow. She didn't realize she had done it at first, but this stranger with the flashing gray eyes lifted his head when he heard the broken cry come from her parched throat.
He approached her hiding place slowly, carefully speaking in soft tones, assuring her it was alright, that he would not hurt her. She was rigid with fear as he gently lifted her out from the tree roots and into his arms, placing a soft kiss upon her brow, telling her that she need not fear. With a caring she had never known he took her away from that place never to return.
He had a wee one roomed cottage deep in the forest, made of stone and thatch where he doted on her as though she were his own child. His Wee Flower he called her. Each time she opened her eyes, his smiling face was there to greet her, and was there when she closed them at night, whispering to her that she was safe, that nothing would ever harm her again. Days passed into months, months passed into years.

She grew fast into a wiry young thing. Her surrogate father taught her forest lore. Which berries were to be eaten and which to be avoided. How to track and catch game. Even how to fish though she seldom did.

They were happy times. There were times when he would speak gruffly if she made a mistake but would never, no matter how badly she tried his patience, raise a hand to her.

Her eyes had sparkled with mischief as she remembered how dark his face would become if she spooked the game they stalked. How she would wait until he turned his back in anger and frustration and then would steal the gloves tucked in the back of his belt and race off into the forest with him in hot pursuit. Though she was younger and faster he always caught her, wrestling with her among the ferns and moss.

She remembered the moment it stopped being a game for her. The games gave way to something more. She no longer looked at him as only a father and teacher, but with the yearning of a young lover. He had noted her change in demeanor as well and slowly stopped engaging in the games of chase and their rough and tumble wrestling.

One evening, while she snuggled in his lap before the fire in their little cottage, he began to speak softly to her. She could hear the strained emotion in his voice and felt the cold hand of fear slowly close about her heart.

He spoke haltingly, his voice filled with sadness. His gray eyes were filled with tears when he told her it was finally time for him to go. He held her closely and told her how proud he was of her. Of how she had grown into one that was no longer a victim and could stand on her own in the world. He spoke soothingly of when the time would come when one more her own age would come to woo her and make her, his own. But, that there was much, he had yet to do. He had made a promise long ago to a Lady, and this promise was calling to him now.

The red coats were encroaching further into the lands and it was his duty to see to the protection of his people. She placed her head against his chest, listening to his heart as they sat through the night in silence, taking comfort in each other for when the morning light came it would be time to separate for a final time.

When she awoke that morning, he was gone. She felt her heart breaking but could not resist seeing him a final time. She raced through the forest and up the ridge, her heart hammering, hoping to catch a last glimpse of him in the glen below.

She lay atop the small rise watching him moving through the glen below. Her heart skipping a beat when she saw his head lift up into the morning sun then look upwards along the hill. Their eyes met, even at this distance she could make out that familiar twinkle. She could see the smile on his lips when he raised his hand and waved. She could feel her throat constrict. For she knew as soon as he cleared the ridge at the far end of the glen, he would be gone forever.

As he lowered his hand, she caught movement amongst the rocks below and saw one of the hated clansman from her past stand and level his musket at her father, her teacher, her love. She called out a warning, startling the clansman who swung about.

There was a crack of thunder and her breath torn from her as the musket ball slammed into her breast. She fell to the grass, her body no longer responding as she cried out silently to him.

There was a scream, then a vicious snarl and the sound of bones snapping then only the sound of the breeze in the soft grass and the warmth of the morning sun.

As her vision began to swim a shadow fell over her and there were those familiar gray eyes, filled with sadness and tears.

He spoke in a halted, heart broken whisper "Oooh Ma Wee Flower...Whit hae ye done???"

She did not feel pain, only comfort as his hands brushed back her ears and smoothed her coat, her tail thumping weakly in the soft heather.

How she had wished she had human arms to hold him just once, as he had held her so many times before. As her vision began to fade to darkness, she felt herself being lifted and cradled in his arms. She could hear and feel the comforting beat of his heart as she lifted her muzzle a final time to nuzzle his cheek, and then her eyes fluttered closed forever.

The peaceful silence of the glen was shattered by the echoing, heart rending howl of the Deamhan Madahad-Alluidh, the Demon Wolf mourning the death of the young wolf....His Wee Flower....

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byJames MacGregor© 2 comments/ 13652 views/ 1 favorites

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