The Myth of Bleu

by Gwendolyn

Unbeknownst to most, the scant blueberry bushes that grow in the foothills of the Siroccians only come to bear fruit for one day of each year, only giving forth their fruit to the world on the first day of the new year in Variach.

Many years ago, back when the world was newer and the races of civilization were still in their infancy, the world was wild and the mythical creatures that have dwindled in the Midnight Age were fruitful and spanned the forests and mountains of the globe.

Their numbers still cling in dwindling slivers, but once the hamadryads of the Ithmias were a strong and virile race, and there was a great village in which they banded together, finding strength in their numbers. Their trees were huddled near one another, all their powers contained their-in. They were a beautiful and peaceful people, finding joy in the simple purities of nature.

Living in harmony with each other and their kin of nature, the dryads lived happy lives, celebrating each turn of the season, sun and moon.

Near the dryads village, there huddled a small band of satyrs, who followed the beautiful people in their goings on, watching them in their unblemished lives. They marvelled in their slender bodies, contrasting with their own animalistic forms. One particular satyr, Eceon, had been watching them since the day of his birth, and had watched what he thought to be the most beautiful dryad in the world grow with him.

In his eyes, heart, and soul Eceon knew that Bleu, the daughter of the chief would be the only women he could ever desire. But she was fey in her devotion to the woods and to, most of all, her beloved willow tree. Eceon feared she would never notice him.

Moons passed and Eceon watched Bleu move with the trees and her people, ever graceful in her beauty, her body and eyes mimicking the wispy leaves and limbs of her beloved tree. As it flourished in summers glory, so did Bleu, bright and full of life. Then with the waning of fall, the splendour of colour and exuberant last flourishes of life in the forest, he saw Bleus vibrantly green hair faded to slivers of silver, and her body paled with her tree as it let its leaves tumble to the ground.

As fall continued to waned, Eceon found himself unable to resist the pull of Bleus beauty any longer, and one evening he crept into the quiet of the dryad village. He found his beloved sitting neath her willow in quiet repose. Eceon crept closer to Bleu, and in a fleeting moment her eyes fluttered to his, matching and pausing there. Eceon gasped softly, with a quick intake of breath, frozen at seeing her face upon his in such refined beauty.

Frightened like a young doe, Bleu backed up against her tree, crying out in the wispy tongue of her people. Fear took hold of her, and in an attempt to calm her Eceon reached out, grasping her slender hand in his stubby fingers. A shrill, pained cry escaped the dryad, and before Eceon could even utter his apologies, a flurry of leaves whipped her away, and she withdrew into the safety of her tree.

Shattered but devoted, Eceon fled from her tree to the knoll where he had lived so many days, and continued his watching solitude.

Enthralled evermore, Eceon made his home in small hollow in the ground, hidden by brambles, so he was ever close to Bleu, to see her fleeting form through the barren trees. Like a blanket over sleeping children, so laid the elements a down of snow across the forest, heavy and deep set. The dryad village began preparations for their celebrations of the new year, which was quickly gaining as winters burden pressed close.

Upon the eve of the new year, the dryads burst into celebration by the light of the moon and stars, gay with much song, drink and dance. Bleus laughter rang through the forests, twinkling to Eceons ears as he sat alone in the snow. He could hear them enjoying themselves, while he sat still, yearning so very much to be there among them.

The night waned and the revelry fell silent, as Eceon still sat alone, gazing up at the cruel cold stars. The twinkled more brightly in his eyes than hed ever known and a sudden flash of uncontrollable need over took him in the deep of the night.

Eyes wide, Eceon crept from his burrow neath the brambles toward the graceful spanning willow that he knew so well as Bleus. Low and behold, there lay the sleeping beauty against her tree, breathing heavily in the exhaustion that follows all great partying. Eyes gleaming in years of unsatisfied desire, Eceon knelt over her, his rounded bulk so different from her willowy, delicate frame.

His breath quickened and his eyes wild, Eceon grabbed the sleeping dryad, tearing at the delicate lace of her flowing dress and pinning her to the ground. Pressing himself quickly to her and throwing open her tattered dress, he kissed her hungrily, fully waking Bleu from her deep sleep. Writhing in his arms, Bleu broke her mouth from the forced kiss of the satyr, screaming out and rousing the spirit of her tree. Alarmed and frightened for its partner, the willow swayed its branches in retaliation, knocking Eceon from Bleu.

Frightened more than any moment in her life, and her thoughts coming random like a wild animal, Bleu sprinted from the safety of her willow, away from the lusting satyr at its foot. Driven by his desire, Eceon leapt from the ground and pursued her through the snow covered forest.

Bleu ran through and past the woods shed known, her heart beating like a rabbit inside, her mind filled with nothing but fear in her innocence. Her small feet left fleeting impressions in the deep snow, and so Eceon tracked her, always just behind her, always wanting to feel her against him once more. Out of the woods did Bleus swift feet carry her, mind lost to any notion of return in her flight, until the small flickering fire of dawn could be seen starting to seep its way into the eeriness of the new year.

Collapsing into the snow in exhaustion, Bleu lifted her eyes to the sky, glancing around at the foreign mountains spanning around her. Body weary, and knowing that Eceon still pursued her over the miles, Bleu cried out heavily, fearing her body would be taken for his pleasures. Crushing the hardened snow in her hands, Bleu raised her tear stained eyes to the sky, screaming out to her Lord Varian for protection and salvation from the heated rape of the satyr.

Seeing the plight and breaking innocence of His child, Lord Varian let a gentle snow fall of large intricate flakes fluff down from the sky onto Bleus skin. In the instant they touched her warm flesh and melted, so her body began to morph into something anew. The last sprinkle of the snow vanished - as had Bleu - leaving in its place a small leafed bush, bearing a tiny blue berry.

Panting for all his exhaustion, Eceon crested the hill, furtively glancing at the pock marks that the eye of his affections had left in her haste. His heartbeat slowly, Eceon suddenly felt gripped with panic, as the rays of first mornings light broke the horizon and flooded the area with light. Stumbling forward in Bleus footsteps, he came upon the small bush, and gazing upon it, seeing her last steps end there, he finally came to realize what he had done.

Wracked in the sudden sorrow and pain of what he had wrought, Eceon fell to his knees in the sunken snow where Bleu had only been moments ago. Tenderly, he ran his hands through the small leaves of the bush, caressing what was left of his love as his eyes welled in aching. Furrowing his brow in pain, his stubby fingers came to find the small berries nestled neath the protective leaves, ripe and sweet. Shuddering softly, Eceon delicately plucked the blue berries from their stems, pressing them into his mouth and finally tasting the sweetness of his radiant Bleu.

Thus it came to pass that in the hills of the Sirrocans a small bush grew and spread, bearing a sweet blue berry. But the berry could only be picked but once a year, allowing the rape of their bounty only on the first morn of the new year the day which years ago a young dryad was spared by the gods for her innocence.