I remember J. K. Rowling had said in an old interview that she was very drawn to forests. They truly are magical, mystical places.
This piece of writing describes a place where I once worked. I often felt we were segregated in our different departments so I played on this a little with a fantasy twist.
Were you to gaze at the lands of Nibrasia from above you would observe its barren fields and dried rivers; it is a dessert wasteland, lo one forest oasis that lays to west of the Kingdom. Few too little strangers venture into Nibrasia for it is rumored to be ruled by a tyrant, who punishes her subjects heavily, and unfairly places the hand of the law. Gregorian Forest, for so it is named, is bountiful with food and riches which its inhabitants, the Gartenia, guard fiercely. Being a small, pixie like, race known for their enchanting songs, the Gartenia would not at first seem ferocious or even vicious, but they are ruled by a frightful sorceress, whom they serve loyally. She is known to them, only as ‘The lady of Light’ for they see her actions as just and true, however, the Gartenia are blinded by her generosity and know little of her blackened heart and forked tongue; their titles and wage are great for they are the Cavalier in her inner circle. Just south of the Forest, on its outskirts, lies the small village of Low Wermentry. There dwell a race similar to humans, who have been blessed by the Lady with inhuman strength and prolonged lives. They work tirelessly and pray to her like a deity, often making ritual sacrifices in her name; these unfortunate offerings are mostly the trolls who graze on the lands or wondering strangers who happen to cross into their territory. The villagers of Low Wermentry hardly ever cross the border of the Forest or even encounter the Gartenia, for they still dread offending the Lady and daren’t upset her, for fear she will curse them. Maya Tres was a young girl who lived just outside Low Wermentry. Her family was one of the many travelling tribes of Nibrasia. Usually the different nomadic families hardly crossed paths but today they had come together for a meeting of the tribes. Maya’s sister Dara spoke for the family. “It is unacceptable that we are being forced as laborers for the will of the Lady. We owe her no allegiance.” Dara protested, while others in the crowd of Nomads murmured in agreement. There were at least 200 men, women and children who had gathered under a full moon; clad in garments of muddy brown and ivory. Many of them were seated under-tarps under wide-spread carpets. “I agree, but what other choice do we have?” Anderson Riley spoke. He was a tall man with dirty blonde hair, and startling blue eyes. Anderson was a ‘speaker of the woods’, he was the bridge between the travellers, the villagers and the Gartenia. Many had apposed of his leadership, complaining that he was too young to ascend to this position, but after the death of his farther, Anderson was the only suitable man for the position, for others did not dare risk their lives working so closely with the Lady. “We can fight!” Dara said proudly. “Our ancestors roamed these lands long before the Gartenia. It is our birth right to hunt in the forests and drink from the sacred pools.” “Silence your tongue.” A frightened woman cried at her. “The Lady hears all.” “I do not fear the Lady,” Dara said loudy. “Nor, should any of you!” Murmuring ran through the crowd again, while many of the women shook their heads in protest. “Silence, Silence!’ Anderson yelled out at the crowd, calming them as they all protested. “They won’t fight,” Maya whispered to her sister. “They are all cowards!” Dara looked around her, her eyes flashing dangerously as though she was looking at a crowd filled with enemies. “We shall take a vote,” Anderson said, his voice carried through the crowd and all of them stopped to listen intently. “All those who oppose Sister Dara’s notion raise your hands.” Maya looked amongst the crowd and saw the entire assemblies hands raise; her sister’s face looked murderous and she stormed out of the crowd. “Dara, Dara…” Maya called after her, but turned as she was pulled back by the hands of a small child; he tugged at her robes and beckoned for her to come down closer. His small brown eyes looked intently into hers; he took her hand so he could press a small, white and blue orchid into her hand. “Your sister will have her war. You have friends in the Gregorian Forest.” He smiled at her sweetly before he pressed a finger to his lips and made a sly shushing noise. Maya watched him disappear into the crowd, her hands still clutched around the delicate flower.