A Force of Nature

Evelyn was, of course, the kind of woman for whom the world existed primarily to annoy her. In her universe, ideally, this world would not be contracted thus. So she saw it as her life’s work – if not her duty – to do something about it.

After all, she had the powers and she had the determination to change what she knew needed changing.

Not for her, however, was the magical utilisation of cute woodland creatures to perform mundane domestic tasks. No, when they saw her coming, the cute woodland creatures developed a keen interest in self-preservation and the need for their kind to evolve into a migratory species, often at a moment’s notice.

Evelyn had seen nature and she was not impressed by it, especially how untidy it was. She looked down at the woodland path and saw the remains of some small fluffy creature. It had been a creature that some other, not quite as small and probably less fluffy, creature had been in the processes of disembowelling. She kicked the corpse into the bushes at the side of the path. She glared around, daring any creature, no matter how wild it thought itself, to come and make something of it.

In the undergrowth, nothing started. The creatures had all heard – through the jungle grapevine, as it were – what had happened to the pack of wolves who thought they’d happened on a lone woman lost in the woods.

That pack of wolves had not realised they were stalking Evelyn.

The survivors of that encounter still whimpered and cried in their dreams. They hid in their lair now, too scared to attack anything more robust than a windfall apple.

The woods, now, belonged to Evelyn. That is except for the band of outlaws that camped somewhere near an ancient oak tree deep in the forest, too deep in the dark forest even for the Sheriff and his men-at-arms to venture near.

Such caution was not in Evelyn’s nature though.

She’d heard about the outlaws and she was curious. Of course, such men would need a woman to sort them out. She couldn’t imagine what living in the wild and rough like that would do to their personal hygiene. Evelyn was quite convinced they needed someone to show them the right way of being outlaws, neat and tidy outlaws. The kind of outlaws people would feel privileged to be robbed by.

She would make sure that any outlaws operating in her woods were doing it properly. She doubted, for example, if they even bothered to keep proper accounts.

She glanced back along the path. She could just see the highest tower of the Sheriff’s castle, looming high above the town. Evelyn wiped her hands on her apron and turned back to striding down the path. Once she’d sorted out the outlaws in the woods, she decided, she’d quite like to have a castle of her own.

Provided she organised it properly, that is.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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