The Jetty

Jetty-s

The last boat had left an hour earlier, well before nightfall with its cargo of merrymakers and adventurers and would-be traders. The peals of laughter had died away as had the whispered promises of parted loved-ones. The place donned a forlorn but expectant air as the light faded and the wind rose. He surveyed the scene from the dense clump of bushes where he crouched hidden. No one would disturb his vigil, for the village people were afraid after dark down by the lake. Age old stories related by village elders told of strange noises, mysterious happenings and unexplained disappearances. As the lakeside became progressively darker and the first stars ventured out, he felt his courage waning. Maybe the risk wasn’t worth it. He debated the idea for quite a while in his head and came to the conclusion that it would be wiser to leave. It was just at that moment that the first shimmering lights appeared in small groups over the water and a faint sound of music reached his ears. Too late to escape. The rising feeling of panic wouldn’t let itself be calmed. Wide-eyed, his attention was fixed on the dancing lights which neared the shore bringing with them a faint scent of exotic herbs. He could hear the music more distinctly too. Flutes and drums. It was intoxicating, irresistibly making him want to get up and dance. He bit his thumb in a desperate effort to resist. The tiny boats ignored the jetty and made straight for the lakeside. Little people sprang out of the boats and moored them to small sticks they hammered into the hardened ground. He could see them quite clearly. They were just like the stories told. Long dark brown curly hair hung down over their shoulders,  half concealing their thin, delicate faces. They were clad in deep green tunics held loosely around their waists by a thin leather belt and wore leather sandals  on their feet. Some were playing instruments, others were carrying bows with quivers of arrows slung over their backs. Once all were on land they formed a lively procession with the musicians opening the way and the others dancing behind as they moved forward headed directly for his hiding place …

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