Don’t Touch Me, I’m Shy

Featured Items: .aisling. Mandragorae & Ama. : Royalty Makeup (TFC)

Shell had been enthused about the discovery.  He’d been practically jumping up and down when he’d stumbled back to the cabin, and excitedly saying that he’d ‘found them!’ over and over, and laughing with delight.

At first Harden and Jesse had thought Shell had been smoking some of that herbal blend that he’d cultivated back at the dorms – ‘mystical ganja grass’ he’d called it. It looked almost just like common lawn grass. They’d all thought it was a brilliant idea, except that it still smelled like marijuana.

But now Shell was seemingly lucid, and the pretty young naturalist had dragged Harden and Jesse through the woods on a trek that led up and down hills, rocky ravines, and through some deep forest, not far from a bear’s cave.

When they’d gotten ‘close’, Shell had forced the other two to get down low with him, stooping as they climbed the last half of the hill, and then near the top, they were practically crawling on their bellies.

When they crested the hill, Shell went first, practically hiding behind a large old maple tree, that had winding and expansive roots, thick and snaking out in all directions on the hilltop. Shell’s long dark brown hair was held down by a crown of leather cord wound around his forehead, and the lengths of his tresses hang almost straight down his chest and down his back to his waist. He was dressed in rolled up blue jeans and a black sweater, with a white button down shirt underneath, sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He wasn’t the largest of his companions, but they were all 3 were hardly giants of humankind.

Jesse was blond, hair down to his shoulders, pierced with silver rings in his ears, nose, and lip, and he wore bracelets of colorful beads and leather cords. He was lanky, with a skinny build, the tallest of the 3, but hardly more than  5’10”. He wore black jeans and a blue, pull-over hoodie with MU letters boldly on the front – with “Miskatonic University” on the back.  Harden was his twin brother, though they were differentiated by Harden’s hair being shaved on the sides above his ears, and faux-hawked on top, with a fringe that came down into his eyes, streaked with blue and purple. But they did share the same type, color and placement of piercings. He was a bit more bulky, and had been the least winded of the 3 going up the hill.

Shell punched Harden in the arm, and huffed, “See, I told you I wasn’t on drugs. Look, down there. “

Harden winced and rubbed at his arm, and started to protest when Shell shhhshed him. The brothers gasped softly, as they saw what looked like a small village, with huts and small gardens, and a field of plants that had shoots and sprouts coming up from the soil, all in neat little rows neaar the stream and pond towards one end of the little valley glade.

It was a shallow valley, with the stream flowing from a cave in the hillside, glittering in the sunshine, as it snaked its way to the pool of water at the far end of the glade. The sight was strange and amazing. Dancing in the light, were little pygmies of some sort. They all looked like they were wearing leafy head-dresses and they were short and bulky in torso, with skinny legs and arms, and tiny little black eyes. One of them seemed to be a chieftain, as his head-dress of green leaves was painted in red and orange and yellow. There seemed to be no differentiation between sexes that they could see.

“This is just too bizarre!”  Jesse muttered in astonishment, as he looked on. “How can no one have never found this place before? And what are they?”

Shell glanced over, his green and blue eye peeking through the fringes of his long brown tresses, giving Jesse a long look. “Well, actually… “

Shell had started to say something, when something happened. Over the root that they were hiding behind, a creature about half a foot tall poked itself up, climbed laboriously over, and dropped down in front of the trio. It blinked its little black eyes. It had no nose that they could see, but it had the ‘head-dress’ of the ones down in the village in the valley. But it wasn’t a head-dress. It was a leafy growth – 5 tall green leaves, that sprouted from a nub on the top of its brown body/head. Its little arms and legs were like root-shoots and it had a wide mouth.

“W-what is uuummm – is that a .. mandrake… plant.. Shellie,” Harden whispered in an astonished voice.

Shell said, “Umm.. well .. something like that. Mandragora – that’s what it is. And this is my friend.. “

The little plant-creature waved its roots and leaped the 5 feet from where it stood by the tree root to land on top of Shell. Harden gasped, “Its attacking!” And tried to grab the little plant creature off Shell.

The little creature shrieked and Shell hissed, “Stop it- you’re scaring him! “ and slapped Harden’s hands away, as he cradled the little plant creature into his arms. “He’s just wanting to be held. He trusts me! Now back off, punk-boy.”

Harden and Jesse looked slowly at one another, then back at Shell, and then down at the little creature in his arms, bewildered

The Mandragoran looked up from face to face and snuggled its body even further against Shell’s chest and then said, in a soft, high pitched voice, “Don’t Touch Me, I’m Shy. “

Shell leaned down and kissed the top of its head, and it made a little giggle sound. Then it looked shyly at the two boys, and asked, “Your friends, said you?”

Shell nodded, pursing his lips, as he gave his friends a look. “This is Polroot. He’s my Mandragoran… umm… how to say.. friend or .. well, we’re kind of .. attached now in a bonded way. “

“What do you mean “bonded way” – you’re not like.. married to it are you,” Jesse asked, puzzled.

Shell pulled a face and shook his head, “What the hell are you smoking? Noo, dummy – He’s sort of my familiar now, I guess you could say.”

“Familiar – like – wizards and witches have – bound creatures that they can .. do .. magic with. “ That was from Harden.

“Well, there’s something else about me I’ve never mentioned, “ Shell said, and sighed, and then shrugged. “But you two dopes are about the only ones I’d ever be able to tell this, cause.. well.. I trust you, but yeah.. I kinda am a practitioner .. “

“A practitioner?” They said in unison.

Polroot huffed a strange little sigh, and spoke up in his high-pitched little sing-song voice, “Wizard, dummies!”

The looked down at the creature, and then up into Shell’s face, who looked a little uncertain, but resolve was there, and they saw he was really serious. “You’re.. coming out to us.. as a wizard, while showing us the Mandragoran village that you just discovered. “

“Well, yeah. I mean.. you never wondered about some of the experiments I do.. well, I guess I was better at hiding what I am. But.. I thought you two could handle it. “

They both gave Shell a long look, but a few moments ago, they didn’t think there was any such thing as an intelligent plant either.

Shell sighed and shook his head, and then shrugged, placing Polroot on the ground, “Show ‘em” the little creature said.

Shell extended his hands, placed his fingertips together, then started pulling his hands apart. He recited a few words that sounded like nonsense, but couldn’t be remembered by the two boys a moment later. But then blue mystical electrical arcs started leaping from each fingertip to the opposite hand, and then ran part way up his forearms, and back down again, to leap to the other hand, and then he spoke a word, and the electrical arcs froze into what looked like glass in mid-air, as he then gripped the newly created structure and handed it to the boys.

Their mouths dropped open. “Shell..what the hell..!!” Each one whispered in almost disbelief.

But there was the evidence, and Shell huffed, and gritted his teeth a moment, and leaned against the tree, as if exhausted.

They each looked up, and reached out to their friend, “You ok? “ Harden asked, and Jesse looked on ready to help.

Shell nodded, and pushed off the tree again, and shook his head, “I’ll be fine, but doing magic takes it out of you, unless you prepare a lot in advance. “

Harden turned the electric-glass sculpture that Shell had created over and over in his hands, and looked up at his friend in awe. “This is so freakin’ cool, Shell. You gotta tell us all about this!”

Shell looked on to his friends with a relief of their acceptance and settled down on the ground, in a lotus position, and started to school his friends on what it actually meant to be a young mage in a world you had to hide it from. “I really mean this guys – thanks for accepting me for who I am.”

The brothers smiled and Jesse said, “We’ll just have to stay on your good side so you don’t give us warts or turnnus into toads or something.” They all laughed, even Polroot.

And so the 3 friends and their newest companion, Polroot, sat in a circle at the top of that hill, chatting softly, and discussing the new things that this day had brought into their lives.

But this wasn’t the only thing that happened that day. The Chief of the Mandragoran peoples wasn’t too happy about the ‘outing’ of his village to humans. But that is for another story.

~Dehrynn Shepherd

Mesh- TMP Deluxe Body (Store)
Hair- (r)M Hair, No.36’16 (Store)

Sweater- :::B:::lazy summer knit cardigan (MOM)
Jeans- Apple May Designs – Male Cargo Capri’s (Store)
Choker- #Foxy – Suede Wrap Choker (Shiny Shabby)
Plant- .aisling. Mandragorae (TFC)

Face Paint- Ama. : Royalty Makeup (TFC)

Tree Stump- {anc} polar stump chair (Store)

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