Maria Lynn was fourteen, an unhappy girl.
She had been picked on and tormented
until her sweet nature could stand no more;
she even considered killing herself.
But then one day she woke up, bound and gagged,
terrified, being in the hands of an odd, older man.
Worse, she next awoke, unbound and free,
but on a world with a blue green sky and two moons.
Her abductor informed her she was special,
and belonged on a world called Amaricu,
and promised to take her there,
before they were ambushed by scary beings.
Fleeing into a dark forest, alone and naked,
she was found by an Elvin brother and sister
who had no idea what or where Americu was,
but who needed to prove their own courage.
They agreed to take Maria on a quest among
the hidden worlds, a long and perilous journey,
to try and find where she belonged.
Would they survive?
Even a magic elf could not be sure….
Maria was walking down the street from her school, nervous and unsure, hoping to avoid the girls who picked on her often. She despised their meanness and cruelty, wanted somehow to be able to stifle their mouths, to make the abuse and insults stop. She fantasized often about such a victory, wishing beyond all things that she could vanquish them effectively. Yet day after day, she was disappointed, finding herself unable to muster the wit to verbally master them, or the inclination and strength to beat them to a pulp. She thought of this too, a yearning to teach them a lesson, one that would render them too terrified to do naught but flee, should they see her approaching.
She felt guilty about this, knowing such a display was itself evil, yet still her battered self desired some sort of rescue from her misery. She was again idly dreaming of this as she walked, and didn’t notice the stealthy approach of her tormentors until her books were slapped from her hands, and she was pushed and tripped simultaneously.
“Pussy girl! Little Maria wants to bow to me, doesn’t she?” a large and vicious girl named Hera laughed at her. Maria had fallen, and was scrambling to grab her things, wanting only to leap up and run, to flee these dreadful ones. Hera kicked her in the side, a blow that sent a shock of agony through her, and suddenly enraged, when the girl kicked at her again, Maria grabbed Hera’s shoe, and twisted as hard as she could. The sound of the girl’s ankle snapping was loud, but not nearly as loud as her scream of agony. Maria wasted not a second, leaping up, having snatched her books up, and she ran like a frightened animal, as the others hesitated between giving chase, and aiding their bully leader.
“Serves you right, you wicked bastard!” she whispered under her breath, as she ran.
She jerked as a man’s voice intruded.
“You don’t like your dreams, do you missy?” she thought she heard, and suddenly understood that she had been asleep, merely having another of her evil dreams. She cautiously open her eyes a tiny bit, and then had then fly open. She remembered going to bed, and was in fact still wearing her sleeping clothes; a skimpy camisole and a loose fitting pair of boy boxers. What puzzled her a moment, and then terrified her completely, was the dawning understanding that she was in the backseat of a car. Worse, her hands were bound, as were her feet when she moved them a small bit. She was lying on her side, completely helpless, without the least idea how she’d gotten there. The vehicle was moving, but when it slowed and seemed to stop, a hand reached back, and deftly patted her cheek.
“You just relax, Maria…you aren’t going anywhere!”
“Take me home! Or I’ll scream!” she declared, determined to sound braver than she felt.
“No. You’re not going back to where you were, you’re going to where you belong…and you won’t scream either! You just relax…I’m not inclined to hurt you or do anything wicked to you!” she was assured, as the vehicle started moving.
Maria found this a good bit dubious, but her inability to budge whatever was holding her wrists and ankles made it plain that she was in fact not going to escape, at least not from the car. Instead, she focused on gathering her energy to scream, but was soon daunted, when a first attempt caused her to almost wet herself. Just attempting to yell had caused a burning wave of pain to move through her body. She moaned modestly instead.
“See? I didn’t lie! You just need to trust me!” the voice declared. Concentrating on this, she felt a small glimmer of familiarity, as though the man was perhaps some long lost relative, whom she hadn’t heard speak in years past. As much as she tried to place it, she drew a blank.
“Do I know you?” she asked finally, hoping that if she heard him speak more, she might solve the riddle of who he was. He chuckled at this, and was silent several moments, concentrating on turning after making another stop. The glow outside the vehicle seemed to lesson, and it occurred to her that they were leaving the city. A new pang of worry touched her, the possibility that she might be taken somewhere, raped and murdered suddenly blossoming in her mind.
“You’ve seen me before, but we’ve not been introduced. You may call me Husmin. You are, of course, Maria, or rather that’s what you’re called on this world. You have a different name elsewhere!” he informed her. This made her laugh, the absurdity touching her.
“There aren’t any other worlds…at least not that I’m aware of! Have you ever been to any other?”
“Oh yes, many of them and many times. That’s what I do…I go between the worlds, and take people from one to the other, when they aren’t where they need to be. At the moment, I’m taking you to the place you belong!” he declared, his way of speaking, and the joviality that seemed poised to explode at any moment, mesmerizing her.
“And what world am I supposed to be on?”
“One called Pamieru. It’s a very magical place…you’ll like it. Well, certainly much better than here! You’ve not been very happy here, have you?”
The perceptiveness of this made her mouth drop open.
“How can you know that?! I hate my life here!” she nearly shrieked.
“That’s why you’re going elsewhere…if you were where you belonged, you wouldn’t be so miserable! You’d also be a princess!” the man assured her. This made Maria laugh, convinced now that he was teasing her.
“Oh, I’m sure I’m no princess! I certainly don’t feel like a princess!” she declared, and laughed.
“And what might you think a princess feels like?” he asked simply, and Maria again had her mouth open.
“I…I don’t know,” she whispered, “but I’m sure it has to feel better than this!”
“I’m sure you’re correct, but it is a complicated thing. Once you get where you belong, you can start to learn what it’s like,” the odd man assured her.
This gave her pause, the strangeness of her situation making her hesitate to say more.
What would it be like to be a Princess? she wondered, but then shook her head slightly, feeling stupid to even consider such a ridiculous thing. She slowly relaxed, and almost dozed off again, as the car seemed to travel a long distance before turning again. This brought her back awake fully, and she noted that they were making a series of stops and turns, before the car slowed and stopped one last time. Husmin put the car in park, and shut off the engine, and was soon outside, and opening her door.
“Sit up girly…we’re going to change modes of transport here, before going on!” he advised her. She moved her feet off the seat, and with his aid managed to sit up.
“Excellent!” he declared, and reaching in, slipping one hand under her knees, and his other arm around behind her shoulders, he slid her to him, and deftly plucked her from the car. A glance at it in the moonlight showed that it seemed to be an old model, antique mostly, but it seemed perfectly new. She could tell they were in the woods, seeing tree limbs and leaves overhead.
Husmin carried her to something else, and sat her on what felt like wood to her legs. He left her perched just a moment, while going back to the strange car, and retrieving some sort of bag. He shut the door, and Maria could vaguely make out him pointing something at the car, which suddenly began to glow, before winking out, vanishing completely.
“There, that’s gone…can’t be having anyone finding such a thing!” he suggested, and laughed.
“It disappeared?!” she gasped.
“Well, of course! Now you get to ride in a Dubin wagon, that will go between worlds! You’re going to sleep for most of the ride!” he assured her.
“I’m not sleepy!” she quickly declared, again afraid.
“Of course you are…now I’ll get you up on a soft set of covers…”
“I have to pee!” she insisted, wanting to do anything to delay things. Husmin merely laughed.
“Alright…here,” he said, and touched the bindings holding her ankles together. These slid off, and he laid them on the strange wagon, before lifting her under her armpits, and setting her on her feet. She nearly fell, her feet tingling with pins and needles. Husmin steadied her, as she stamped first one, then the other.
“Come!” he said, leading her a few paces from the wagon. She wondered how hard getting her shorts down might be, and worse, how embarrassing being watched while she piddled might seem, having never had anyone see her do such a thing, but before she could move, she felt him slip her boxers down to her knees.
“Be my guest!” he said, as she took a deep breath, and squatted.
Maria hoped the dimness might hide her, but she quickly realized that the moonlight was well illuminating her. A glance at Husmin relieved her, as he was looking away and paying little attention to her bare bottom. When she was done, she considered what to do, but before she could ask, he turned back to her, and pointed at her crotch with some small device in his hand, and with a strange sensation, like a cold wind brushing her sensitive girl self, she was completely dry.
He helped her pull up her shorty covering, and guided her back to the odd wagon. Her mouth was still open, her sense of amazement only getting stronger. A glimpse of the wagon made her stop and stare, the front of the odd, wheeled contraption having two good sized animals attached by harnesses that glowed in the moonlight.
“Tell me I’m crazy! Those look like unicorns?!” she gasped.
“You’re not crazy…they are unicorns! How else do you expect to get from one magic world to the next, unless you’ve got a unicorn?” he laughed, and lifted her up into the wagon.
“No buts!” he insisted, getting her positioned, and again putting the tie on her ankles. He laid her back, on soft fabric, that seemed cushy and resilient before touching her with the small device. She was instantly asleep.
“Much better! Fewer questions, and less worry!” he sighed, and went around to climb in. Had Maria been awake, she would have screamed, when their transport rolled deeper into the forest, and then passed into what acted like an invisible curtain. The unicorns gave no sign of being the least disturbed or astounded, moving through the glowing thing and disappearing as they passed in. Husmin and the wagon followed the same, and after the very end had disappeared from visibility on earth, the last of it emerged into a bright and sunny place, filled with amazing vistas. Everything seemed astoundingly odd here, and in moments, they disappeared entirely again, through another strange portal, emerging again into a new world.
“So glad she’s asleep, and I don’t have to explain all this!” Husmin declared, and chuckled, peeking over his shoulder at the quiescent form of Maria. “Our princess would just pee herself!” he sighed, having had that happen with others. “Of course, she’s not going to like her trial…not in the least!” he sighed, shaking his head sadly, as he pursed his lips.
Maria slept peacefully through dozens of strange transitions, as Husmin guided his strange unicorn propelled wagon through portal after portal. When she finally woke, she was disoriented and dizzy, having no idea where she was, or what had happened. Trying to move made her moan, queasy and nauseous, but by lying perfectly still, the sensations soon faded. She opened her eyes to see a blue green sky. It took several moments for her to understand that this was odd, and when she finally did, she felt her mouth open in amazement, remembering what had happened before.
“Now where am I at?” she whispered, frowning.
“On Tariniea, one of the Elvin worlds! You’ll like it here, even though you won’t be here long!” Husmin suggested, peering over the side of the wagon, to observe her.
“Then where am I going?!” she demanded.
“To Pamieru, where you’ll be a princess, as I said before! We have a ways to go, before we get there!”
“Why did we stop? How long did I sleep? How did you make me sleep? Is this…”
“Stop! Take a deep breath! We stopped to rest and eat a bite, and to let the unicorns have a drink. Even magical creatures need some rest occasionally!” Husmin laughed.
“Oh…I suppose…I don’t know anything about unicorns or…well, until now, I didn’t even think they were real!” she sighed, feeling oddly embarrassed by this notion. She sat up and looked around, noting the two creatures in front of the wagon, looking perfectly real. Doubting their existence seemed especially foolish and wrong.
“Husmin? What makes you know I’m a princess? I mean…I don’t live like one, or feel like one! I don’t even know what a princess is supposed to feel like. Or do!”
“Oh, I have my ways, and they’re mostly magical…at least they’d seem that way to you!”
“But…how can you know anything about me, or anyone, if you’re from all these worlds away?!” Maria demanded, this sounding unbelievable to her.
“It’s complicated! You just need to not worry about that right now. Are you over feeling dizzy?” he asked. This sparked another question.
“How do you know what I think or feel?! I didn’t say a word about being dizzy!” Husmin laughed, delighted by her comment and perception.
“I’m aware of what our travel does to the uninitiated, and also I’m simply amazingly sensitive to other people’s emotions. You’re very expressive, and reading your face and body is quite easy. I’m not a mind reader as such!” he assured her.
“Oh. I guess that makes me feel better!”
“Why? Do you have feelings that make you guilty or ashamed?” he asked. This made her cringe, the precision of such a question touching her true inner self deeply; Maria was nothing if not a collection of guilty thoughts and painful feelings, thanks to her long abuse by others.
“I…maybe…but I wish I didn’t!” she insisted.
“You’ve been abused by several?”
“Yes! But one girl was always the worst…Hera! I think the others just were mean to please her!”
“Did they treat just you that way, or did they pick on others?” Husmin wondered, rummaging in the bag he had brought. Maria considered this before answering.
“I think she had others she tormented, but I mostly…I suppose I mostly cared about how I was being done! She started that back in grade school, and almost never got in trouble for it! The teachers just ignored what she did!”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“Well of course I’m sure! I certainly can see what’s going on around me!” she declared, angry at being questioned.
“You certainly are angry about it…people don’t tend to think all that well when they’re mad!” Husmin suggested, grinning at her. “Here…have something to eat!” he said quietly, offering her a plate with a sandwich and a pickle on it. Maria lifted the top of a long bun, to see what was under it.
“It’s a Rubin! Where did you get it at?”
“Little place on your town square…I’ve been by there before, and always drop in when I pass through! A thousand worlds, and no place else to get such a delight!” he laughed.
“What do people eat on the other worlds? Actually, what sort of people are on the other worlds?” she asked. “You said something about this being an Elvin world? Does that mean there are elves here?” Husmin laughed delightedly.
“My dear girl, you can’t very well have an Elvin world without elves! Yes, there’s all sorts of them around. And humans also. The elves mostly avoid the humans, and vice versa…both just prefer to keep to them selves, although they get along well enough.”
“Will I see any of the elves?! I’d like that!” she said, realizing too late that it was hard to talk with a mouthful of food. She nearly choked on it, before settling down, and looking guilty. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude and eat like a pig! My mother would be disappointed! Well, if she even noticed,” she added.
“You don’t get along with her well, do you?” Husmin wondered, nibbling on his pickle. Maria shook her head.
“Not really…she’s always too busy, either working, or chasing some man…I sound jealous, don’t I?”
“More disappointed really. You feel alone and abandoned more than angry,” he suggested. This gave her pause, and she hesitated before speaking again.
“Maybe you’re right…Without having a father, not having my mom seemed even worse!”
“But you do have a father, he’s just not the one you think he is,” Husmin suggested, he concentrated on taking a bite of his sandwich, and when he again glanced at Maria, he noted her sitting, mouth open and looking shocked.
“You never suspected that?” he asked slyly.
“How can that be?! Mom said he was! Are you saying…what? She lied?!”
“No, not exactly…I doubt she has any idea…let’s just say that adults occasionally give in to doing things they regret, and from then on, like to pretend nothing happened. You know you don’t look a thing like the one you think is your father?”
“Maybe…I don’t really look all that much like my mother either! So who is my father? Do you even know?!” she asked, her voice shaded with anger.
“Of course I do. He’s the reason I came to get you!”
“So what’s his name?”
“Aronieand Na-Sarinick….Prince Aronieand Na-Sarinick, to be precise!”
“I’m the daughter of a prince?!” Maria shrieked, this amazing her. “That’s…that’s…” she fell silent, overwhelmed, and suddenly began to cry. Husmin pulled out a handkerchief, and wiped her face as she finished her tears.
“Why are you crying?”
“I suppose maybe…all this time I’ve been abused and treated horridly, and I should have been being spoiled! What good is being the daughter of a prince if you get treated like a commoner?” she laughed.
“It helps you to have care and empathy for others, for one thing. You weren’t left on your world by accident…he wanted you to suffer and grow strong, to learn what life is like for real people. You can’t be a good princess, or a wise ruler if you’re spoiled!”
“Well, that may be true, but it still sucks! A little bit of nice things wouldn’t have ruined me!”
“Don’t be too sure of that! Your father is a wise man, like his father before him. He wishes you to be equally wise and decent, and not the least bit spoiled!”
“Well, I surely don’t feel spoiled at all!” she sniffed petulantly. “I’ll probably say so too, when I meet him! Will that get me in trouble?”
“By the time you meet him, I’d imagine you’ll be much less inclined to say anything wicked!” Husmin chuckled.
“Now why would that be?! How long will it be before I get to where we’re going, and I get to meet him?”
“Well, if nothing happens, it will only take a day or so to get there,” Husmin declared.
Something in his voice caught Maria’s ear, and she stared at him, trying to understand what it was. It was sunny and bright, and she could well see him for the first time. What she beheld amused her, he being a rather rotund gentleman who appeared middle aged and partly bald, but with an enormous mustache. His full cheeks were quite rosy, and he was dressed rather formally in pants, a waist coat and jacket that had long tails. He looked much like a character from an old period movie, perhaps a door man or butler. When he smiled or laughed, his face became a delightful display of jocularity and mirth, that made Maria both delighted and more comfortable. She finally shrugged a tiny bit, thinking she was concerned for nothing.
“You never told me what people eat on the other worlds!” she suddenly asked, this coming back to her.
“We got side tracked!” Husmin chuckled. “To answer you fully would take a week, but to put it simply, most worlds eat a varied diet; breads made from grains, all manner of vegetables and plants, and meats from what ever animals are about. Some worlds have things you’d recognize…they raise wheat here, and have a type of pig that lives in the forests which both humans and elves hunt. On Pamieru, they raise oats and barely, but not wheat…they make a fine beer from the barely I might add! They have pigs and cows also, although they will look odd to you,” he suggested.
“Why? Isn’t a cow a cow?”
“Well, yes, except that there the cows are purple with white spots…or orange!” Maria burst out laughing, the idea of a purple cow charmingly ridiculous.
When she was finished eating, and had had a drink of water, she looked at Husmin. “What now?” She had been delighted to wake and discover herself no longer restrained in any fashion.
“Hop down and go pee, then you can get dressed before we go on!”
Maria carefully slid from the wagon and hopped down, and went around the wagon to piddle.
“Take your clothes off when you’re done, and I’ll give you something to wear!” Husmin called from the other side of the wagon. Maria couldn’t see what he was doing from her vantage, and was unaware of his busy gesturing, as he watched several large animals emerge from among the trees. He motioned for them. to stay, and they stopped, as if they understood his intent, which in fact they did. Husim peeked around the back corner of the wagon, and seeing Maria completely bare, squatted with her back towards him, he grinned.
“Come around the wagon, and get your clothes!” he called, and Maria hastened to obey, eager to be covered. At the back corner, she handed him her sleeping clothes, staying hidden from his sight. Before she was handed anything else, Husmin glanced at the creatures, and gestured again. One let out a loud call, which made Maria stick her head around the wagon. She screamed, seeing them suddenly charging from their place, and at the same moment, Husmin yelled at her.
“Run for the forest, and keep running! I’ll hold them off! If the catch you, they’ll eat you! I’ll find you!”
Maria, having seen the ferocious teeth well displayed, needed no repetition of this command, and took off as fast as she could, running straight into the strange forest. She gave no thought to the fact that she was utterly naked, but instead ran as hard as she could down the path in front of her, still hearing the sounds of the pack behind her. She was soon lost, as the paths twisted and turned, and dozens more crossed hers. She had no idea when the creatures turned back, trotting back to Husmin, and sitting on their haunches, as he petted them.
“Good fellows! That worked perfectly. “Our poor girl will be miserable for a bit, but she’ll have to endure worse, before she gets to where she needs to be…and she’ll be a lot more grown up when she does!” he laughed slyly, well pleased.
Maria had run until it started getting dark and her feet were bleeding. She was unaccustomed to going outside barefoot, and would have never considered going into the woods without shoes, let alone being naked. She was terrified of the aloneness, the strange trees seeming to form odd shapes and scary faces in the shadows. Her breathing was labored, her sides ached from her exertion and hard breaths, and she was utterly miserable, slick with sweat and feeling still vulnerable from being uncovered.
She stopped to rest, having trouble listening for noises from behind her, terrified that the odd creatures were somewhere behind and still pursuing her. She found a large fallen tree that she could carefully sit her tender bottom on, and sought to relax a moment. The understanding that she was alone, naked, hungry and lost, making her want to cry.
Well, you’ve proved you’re not brave, coward! You’re scared of your own shadow! Now what will you do? You have no idea where you are, or why something was after you!
She noted the sky overhead getting less bright, and the thought that she would soon be in this strange forest alone in complete darkness made her insides want to knot up. When her breathing had calmed to something more normal, she stood, and moved off, following the path, hoping she could at least find a soft place to lie down. The possibility that snakes or bugs might crawl on her in the dark terrified her, as did the idea that some animal might attack her.
She soon arrived at a small stream, that flowed noisily over many stones, crystal clear. She realized how desperately thirsty she was, and, worried that she might get sick from something in the water, she finally shrugged, and knelt down, where she could scoop up the cold water and drink. She discovered it delightful, clean and crisp, and soothing for her parched throat. She drank until she was full, and then returned to looking for a place to lie down. She waded across the shallow water, the stream botton covered by soft round stones and sand, and found a patch of tall and soft grass on the other shore, where the branches overhead were thin, and sunlight was able to reach the ground part of the day. She carefully walked down a patch twice the area her body would occupy lying down, and stepping away three paces, she squatted to pee, which proved nearly futile, she having been at the verge of dehydration. She returned to sit down, and finally lie back.
I hope nothing bothers me! she thought, too exhausted to do more contemplation. As the sky faded from it’s odd color to a darker shade, she noted that there seemed to be a slightly lighter area off to one side.
Maybe there’s a moon? she dreamily wondered, before slipping into a deep sleep.
Had she been awake several hours later, she would have noted a lithe pair of legs move close, to stand next to her. They were clad in an exquisitely crafted pair of leather boots, and after much observation, and whispers, one boot nudged her back side. Maria responded by moving slightly, muttering incoherently and emitting a small fart. The boot again nudged her butt, more firmly, and she moved a bit more, finally turning onto her back. A gentle touch of leather toe to her side brought her awake with a gasp, and her eyes flew open. She was too shocked to scream, seeing someone standing over her, their face hidden in shadow.
The figure finally squatted down on their haunches, and when this one turned to address someone unseen, Maria caught a glimpse of his face in the moonlight, which was flooding down from directly overhead.
An elf?! her mind thought, having seen a slightly pointed ear. This astounded her even more than the strange forest had. The being was clearly a young male, dressed in some sort of tights, and a shirt, he was holding a large bow, and had a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder. He was quite beautiful, and when he turned to gaze at her again, having finished speaking in a language incomprehensible to her, he smiled slightly.
“Why should anyone not expect to find an elf in the elves’ own enchanted woods? The real question is what is a human female doing here, especially a naked one?” he asked, delighted to note her face turn dark from a fierce blush, she having forgotten her state of undress.
“I…I…I don’t know! Someone kidnapped me from my world, and was taking me somewhere, but then we were attacked, and I ran into the forest, to get away…now I’m lost!” she managed to declare in a rushing jumble of words, before bursting into tears.
When her tears slowed, the visible elf spoke.
“Well, we can’t have you running around lost and naked in the woods…no telling what trouble you’d cause. We’ll take you with us, and let the elders decide what to do with you! What’s your name?”
“Maria…who are you?” she managed to ask, trying to hide her breasts and crotch with her hands. “Can I get something to wear?!”
“Of course, but not until we get to the village. I am named Sajarin So Harinia, and the one you haven’t seen is my sister Lydini Sa Liafori. Please call us Sajarin and Lydini. Come, you can rest better where we are going…it is only a short walk away!”
Maria soon wondered how the Elves measured distance, it seeming to her as though they were walking miles. They finally emerged into a clearing, and passed between fields of some crop, before entering the actual village, which in the light of a second rising moon looked as whimsical and enchanted as any Elvin place that one might imagine. She was limping badly, her cut and abraded soles making walking difficult. The elves had noted this, but only spoke a few words in their own tongue to each other.
When they had emerged from under the forest canopy, Maria had glimpsed Lydini, and was mesmerized by her beauty, The better light displayed her brother as equally beautiful, but a bit more masculine than his sister. Maria found him utterly handsome, but had trouble thinking of anything but her lack of clothing. They led her through the paths and narrow streets, to a strange structure that seemed to be a house, oddly colored in the moonlight, and strangely shaped.
They slipped soundless inside, and Lydini handed her brother her bow and unslung her quiver. She took Maria’s hand, gestured with a finger to her lips to silence her, and led her up a curving stairway and along a short hall, tugging her hand to get her to enter an odd room.
“Lie down here!” the elf whispered, and when Maria was stretched out on the soft surface, the elf covered her with soft covers.
“Go back to sleep…we are going back to hunt more! Tomorrow we will get you clothing, and see what might be done to aid you! Others are asleep in the dwelling!”
“What if I need to…” she stopped, suddenly shy and embarrassed.
“You won’t!” the elf girl promised, and before Maria could ask how the elf could be so sure, the being touched her face, and she fell instantly asleep, as the elf girl smiled knowingly. “You will learn to trust what I say!” she whispered smugly, and when out. She returned swiftly with a wet cloth, and a small glass jar. Setting the jar aside, she tossed the cover up off Maria’s feet, and swiftly cleaned them. When they were dry, she open the lid of the jar, and using two slender fingers, she took a bit of salve from it, and rubbed a coating onto both of the soles of Maria’s feet. This done, she covered her, and went out.
When Maria finally woke, she discovered that she was on her side, facing a window. The room was bright and sunny. Her back was to the room door, and when she moved slightly, she heard a giggle from behind her. Checking with her free hand revealed that her butt was uncovered, so she tugged the covers to hide it. This caused a chorus of giggles from behind her, so she rolled over, to face the door. She discovered three elf children of varies ages, all sitting on the floor watching her, fascinated.
“Hello! Who are you?” she asked, feeling brave under the covers.
“We are Sajarin’s and Lydini’s siblings! Who are you?”
“Maria,” she replied.
“Maria of who?”
“Maria…Maria Lynn Sanchez.”
“Oh…where are you from?” an elf girl that seemed to Maria to be maybe half grown asked.
“From a world called earth. What’s you name?”
“I’m Comini Sa Liafori…my sister is Bamiri Sa Liafori and our brother is Uamien So Harinia!” Hearing these did nothing but confuse Maria, she unable to make sense of how the elves named children.
“I see,” she sighed.
“You’re confused!” the older one, Comini suggested, making Maria wonder if the elves could know her thoughts.
“Where are Sajarin and Lydini?”
“Still asleep, but they will soon arise. They killed a Viranicin with their hunting last night! You look unhappy?” the elf girl asked.
“I…I need to pee…and need clothes!”
“Oh, that’s easy…come!” Comini insisted, hopping up and stepping close. Maria found the covers tossed aside instantly. “Don’t be shy…no one will make fun of your body!” she insisted, taking Maria’s hand. She was led to a small room, and the young elf explained how she was to use the odd toilet, before going out to wait. She checked her feet as she peed, and was amazed to find no trace of the cuts that had hurt so much the previous day. She shook her head, suspecting this was some form of elvin magic.
When Maria emerged, she found herself confronted by a mature looking female elf, who was as strikingly beautiful as the young ones.
“I am Liafori…you’d like some clothes?” this one asked, grinning at Maria’s red face.
“Yes! Please…where I’m from we don’t ever go without clothes!”
“You’ll get less shy as you get used to being here…you’re from a different world…that’s what Sajarin and Lydini said?”
“Yes…and now I’m lost!”
“Of course you aren’t! We know where you are, and will do what we can to help you. Come with me!” Liafori insisted.
Maria soon was covered, having soft and stretchy tights on her legs and butt, and a supple blouse that hid the top half of her. She had discovered that the Elves had no idea what a bra was, they, like Maria, having small and firm breasts that needed no such thing. The feel of the fabric against her bare skin and breasts seemed scandalous and naughty, but she was just thrilled to be covered at all.
It took four tries to get a pair of boots to fit her feet, her human ones apparently being a good bit larger than the normal Elvin foot. Liafori sat her on a stool, and brushed her hair, before braiding it expertly into a thick pony tail.
By this time, Lydini and Sajarin had emerged, still looking half asleep. Both came close, and gave Maria a warm kiss on the side of her cheek.
“You feel less terrified?” Lydini suggested, eyeing Maria.
“Yes…I’m not comfortable being naked!”
“You’ll get used to it!” the elf girl suggested, grinning slyly at her.
“Come, children…bring Maria and we’ll eat! Liafori called from the top of the stairs.
“What do elves eat?” Maria asked, suddenly worried.
“Leaves and bugs…” Sajarin suggested, eager to tease Maria.
“Sajarin!” Lydini scolded him, seeing Maria’s expression of horror. “That’s a lie! You’ll find our food quite good. and normal!”
“Well, it’s not a complete lie…we can eat lots of things, when we’re in the deep forest and have too!”
“Well then, I’m not ever going into the forest!” Maria sighed. Lydini touched her arm, and turned her to face her.
“You path home will take you through places much worse than just the forest….trust me!” the elf said. Maria was tempted to laugh, but when she saw the elf wipe tears from her eyes, she felt her insides tense.
“Oh my…” she managed to whisper, before falling silent, too shocked to say more.