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  • Writer's pictureCheyanne Lepka

Writing Prompt: The Forest of the Hatmadat

So, I'm putting this back up!

This little scene is the result of a writing prompt that was sent to me after I asked for advice on twitter:

The Forest of the Hatmadat:

For every lit flower in the forest of the Hatmadat, exists a dragonfly that lit the spark. And every night the dragonfly must return to that flower.

Takkain knew this truth. The trees had whispered of it on his many treks through them. They have a way of whispering. They whisper and mutter and sometimes if it suits them, they yell.

The trees had not yet come to the point of yelling as they urged Takkain to reconsider his pursuit of the dragonflies that evening.

You cannot. The forest of the Hatmadat will swallow you. They muttered as he ran past them.

But the dragonflies flitted back and forth, beckoning him forth to the centre of the living forest. Takkain ignored the warnings of the trees, but accepted their aid as he jumped from branch to branch.

The water will consume you. The trees murmured and their leaves rustled with discontent, their vines reaching to grab him. The Taripan roam free there.

Brushing a vine from his shoulder, Takkain ducked under a low branch and clambered over the buttress of a root.

The night comes, the darkness hides many things. The rustle of their voices rose to a crack. Turn back. Turn to your village and return to the warmth of your family.

But darkness was necessary to see the flowers within the forest and Takkain needed to see the flowers. He ducked under a reaching branch and found his path along a large fallen tree. The trees grew denser there and the calls from his forest grew fainter, though he was sure they shouted from the tips of their leaves now.

Takkain… The hollow cry grew fainter and fainter Takkain.

Now as the darkness blanketed the trees, the shimmer of the flowers bled through the sheet of night, reflecting off the edge of the lake.

Takkain… The call was little more than a sensation now.

The trees grew so dense that he had to duck and twist and squeeze to find the edge of the water. He no longer chased the dragonflies now, they flanked him as they darted between the trees. But the trees here were silent. They offered no praise or warning. Only a wall of silence in the moonless night.

Takkain crouched on the smooth bark of the dead tree and crept forward, hiding his form as he peaked between the upright tree roots. The lake gleamed motionless and the lilies shimmered on its surface. The dragonflies darted between the flowers, sending blue sparks dancing across the glassy water.

Takkain leaned forward more, and his foot slipped. Barely managing to grasp the roots to steady himself, his heart fell as he felt the cool water graze his toe. The ripples shuddered out across the lake. As it reached the dragonflies, they were set a twitter, sparks exploding into the night air. The light from the lilies flickered as they rocked out of pattern.

As the commotion on the lake died down, a dark form gathered beneath the surface. Takkain pulled his foot to up and hunched further behind the roots of the upturned tree. The form rose above the water, a bulbous mass that sent the lilies skirting away. Five enormous purple eyes opened. And focused on Takkain.

The prompt that Billy made for me to use.

So, what do you think?

If you decided to write something from the same prompt, send it to me! I'd love to read it.

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