Nuku-mai-tore, Spirit Facing Woodland
“One legend says they had large chests and waists, but little heads; another text gives “no head, chest and waist only.” A third says that their arms and legs were so short that they seemed to have no limbs at all, but waved their hands close to their bodies.”
Whira and Turo laughed their heads off (literally) when they heard the grandfather tell his tiny entourage all about the tree faeries, the Nuku-mai-tore. They had been leaping from branch to branch of the ancient yew tree they lived on, peering down at the humans who were unaware they were being watched. Turo picked up Whira’s head, and Whira Turo’s, and they juggled them back and forth until they grew tired of the game.
Turo had a wicked grin on his face when he reattached his head. “We should go down and teach the old man how wrong he is.”
“Nah,” Whira said, putting his head on backward.
“Stop that!” Turo laughed, which was Whira’s mission.
Turning his head around, Whira faced his friend. “All we will do is scare them-I know, I know, that is what you want to happen. But, really Turo, would they really believe we were Nuku-mai-tore? We look enough like those humans.”
“Except for being green.”
“There is that.”
“And pretty much au natural. Leaves and bark do not clothe the sidhe.”
“True. Sigh. You really want to do this, don’t you?”
Turo’s wicked grin grew three times its size, nearly splitting his head in half. That was all it took. They both skittered down the yewhome, a race to get to the ground first.
One of the little ones surrounding the old man turned, catching their movements peripherally. A piercing scream followed.
“Girl?” asked Whira, confused by the little thing’s long hair.
“”Hmm. No. Boy.”
The grandfather was scooping up the three children into his arms and against his body. Looking at them, the faeries weren’t sure if he was trying to protect them or use them as a shield.
“Shield,” Whira muttered.
“Maybe. Let’s find out.”
They walked a few steps towards the grouping. All the children screamed, and the old man stepped in front of them, the little ones cowering behind him, shushing them to silence.
The grandfather stuttered out: “Wha..wha..who…”
The two faeries laughed again, this time keeping their heads.
“Hi. I’m Turo. This is Whira.” Whira did a little curtsey; Turo punched him in the arm, gently. Their chuckling sent the children plunging into the old man, almost knocking him over. Whira laughed loudly. Turo shushed him.
The grandfather stood up as straight as he could. This time he was able to make a full sentence. Barely.
“Who…what are you?”
“Well, that’s kinda rude. We are…The Nuku-mai-tore!”
“Taa Daa!” piped up Whira.
The grandfather was sputtering again. “But…but..but…”
Whira turned around. “Yes, see? We have butts,” turning around again, “and heads, and chests, and arms, legs, fingers, toes…and a couple of dangling bits. Not so much the twiddle you told the tykes.”
Turo, who was slightly ignoring the discourse, began dancing. Feet shifting back and forth became a two-step which then morphed into a jig, of sorts, and then into a full-on whirling dervish type movement. The little ones were fascinated and started to move away from grandfather. Soon, Turo had the beginnings of a Conga line going.
“TURO! Enough, really, like, just leave them alone.”
“Hey, they’re having fun!”
“The old guy looks like he’s going to keel over. Look.”
The grandfather’s face, old man frail, had lost all its color. His hands were shaking, and his straightened body began to sag. The faeries and the children rushed over and helped bring him to a sitting position. Whira went off, back in a flash with some water from their stream. They all sat down around the grandfather, who gathered himself into a semblance of order while he drank.
Finishing, he looked at the two. “Thank you,” he said. Both Turo and Whira nodded to him. “What…what do you want from us?”
Whira and Turo looked at each other. Whira spoke up before Turo could botch things up.
“We just wanted to set you straight on us, the Nuku-mai-tore. You were telling these little ones things that just weren’t true.”
“They were funny.”
“Yes, funny, but not true. See? Some differences between us, but nothing as strange as what you were telling.”
Putting down the large cupped leaf he was drinking out of, grandfather asked: “Would you then share with us the truth? We are all ears,” he said, turning to his charges. “Aren’t we?”
All the children hastily agreed. The one who screamed first went to sit in grandfather’s lap.
Whira and Turo took turns telling stories, both true and crafted fantastical. When the human grouping left, with smiles and thanks, the two faeries went back up their yewhome for a well-earned nap.
The above is another photo prompt, this time from Fiction Can Be Fun. I’ve joined Deb, David, and their blog readers before. I loved this picture the second I set eyes on it, but I was not sure, at first, what to do with it.
It was Deb’s statement that sent me on this path: “this is a family show, so we reserve the right not to post anything that strays into NSFW or offends against ‘common decency’.”
Of course, I took that as a challenge this time around.
If you want to join in, and please do, here’s the info you need:
Use the photo (on top) as your prompt.
Word Count: anything up to 1,000
Deadline: 2pm GMT on Friday 6th July 2018
A reminder to new readers/writers, please post on your own site and add a link in the comments section below. If you don’t have your own blog or similar outlet, do send us your story via the contact form on the About page and we’ll post for you, with an appropriate by-line.
Two caveats if you want to go down this route: if you want to retain the copyright, then you will need to state this, and this is a family show, so we reserve the right not to post anything that strays into NSFW or offends against ‘common decency’.