Little Red Meets Big Blue Picture

It was a cool morning. Like autumn had come early to the northern regions. The sky was covered in a sheet of pure white with no shades of blue or streams of light showing through the upper layer. Fog seemed to roll in the distance, becoming an idea but not a presence. And dew sat upon the grass on the riverside.

Aisling sighed deeply, taking another berry and sheepishly popping it into her mouth. She savored the sweetness whilst embracing the bitterness. It wasn't a meal, but it was all she really needed. She picked another hand full and rolled them into her satchel. She was sure they wouldn't pop or stain the other contents. Then, she lowered the rest of herself smoothly into the river, and gave a few powerful kicks to set her in motion.

The river was quiet today. Dormant from the cold front. The current was gentle. Almost soothing to swim in. Maybe she would stop and just let herself drift. Let herself get a passing view of all this region had to offer. She was still a bit cautious about this area. It was nymph country. She was unsure of the implications but she kept herself on edge. Simon's books revealed that Asrai were known to exist but rarely seen. Not much was actually known about them, except their unparalleled magical prowess and aquatic nature. She had gotten this far keeping herself hidden. Perhaps it would be best to keep it that way.

She continued to glide over the bed of the river, emerald eyes scanning the surface for what she needed. Suddenly she stopped. She could see it: a patch of wild flowers. Just what she needed. She hesitated, holding herself in place while she checked for any presence on the surface. Her heart pounded a bit. Could she make it? What were the ramifications of being spotted. Finally, she went for it, extending her arms, retracting her legs, and then pushing downward, rocketing to the surface. Quickly, she stuck one hand out and snatched the flower, slipping it into her satchel, and then dropping back into the water. She quickly swam to the bottom and sat on the riverbed, eyes darting from side to side, making sure she hadn't been spotted. Best not to get carless at a time like this.

So she sat, letting the current carry her gently as she waited for a response. She wasn't sure how long she had waited, but eventually she let out a sigh and hoped she was still safe. Maybe a drunken sailor will assume she was an illusion if he saw her. She could only hope.

She returned to her grotto, setting the dripping satchel on the rocky edge of the river, opening it up and sorting the ingredients. It was all she could seem to occupy herself with. Making powders. Medicines. Fertilizers. New methods of caring for the river. She recalled a few recipes she had found inscribed on the walls of caves in her language. At the moment she was gathering the reagents for fertilizer. The riverbed looked a bit barren, so she hoped she could introduce a bit of life into the system.

She took a single wildflower petal and tore it in half, then sprinkling a few berry seeds and morning dew on top of it. She hummed a simple tune to herself as she used a rock to grind the petal into something more like a liquid. She added some bark, a bit of berry juice, and a mushroom she had found a few days earlier. Wasp larvae, honey, spit, and a bit of dirt. An archaic process to some, but she knew what she was doing. Like the tune she hummed, she knew this process by heart. Her mother had taught her. Just as her mother had taught her sisters. This was her duty. Her hidden purpose. Her moral and generational obligation.

"Hiya!~" A voice rung out, shattering the silence.

The asrai stopped, nearly leaping into the air at the sudden break in the silence. She straighten up, her relaxation all but gone, and slowly peered around the grotto. She knew she wasn't hearing things. She knew she had been spotted. Nervously, she backed up from her workstation and slowed her breathing, still looking for the source of the voice. She began to run one of her straps through her thumb and forefinger. A nervous habit of hers.

And then...she realized something was on her head. Resting atop her slick hair. She took a quivering hand and slowly ran her fingers across the top of her head. Suddenly, she felt a presence a the tip of her fingers. It was warm...uncannily warm. The air around her was cool and the water even cooler. But whatever...thing sat atop her crown had a comforting warmth to it.

Using all of her courage and almost none of her strength, she gently pinched whatever was on her head. Deathly afraid, she brought it down to her level and let it fall into her palm with a twist of the wrist.

What fell into her palm didn't horrify her, though. It simply puzzled her.

In her cold pale palm sat a girl. Much smaller than Simon. With a head of flowing black hair. Atop the girl's head sat a pair of long yellow horns. The girl's skin was crimson in hue. Like that of a human, but with a tone that was alien. She gazed right back at Aisling with two wide eyes. They were unnaturally colored. Hazel. Or something close to it. And in right light they almost appeared to glow.

Moments after falling she had already gotten accustomed to the changes, sitting cross-legged on the asrai's hand. She smiled and prepared to speak.

"Hello!" She said cheerily.

Aisling drew herself in a bit to examine the girl. She had never seen anything like this. She nervously pulled her hand outward to get the whole picture, and then slowly brought her oversized hand upward, giving a sheepish wave.

The two sat, simply taking the other in.

"You're really big."

Claire and Aisling. Because it sounded cute. Here's a hamfisted story to go with it. Maybe I'll have Simon and the outsider meet or something. I dunno.

There's definitely a canon here, but I still haven't mapped it out entirely. I have an idea of what it is, but it would be best to convey it to anyone who sees this. Or something.

I dunno. My mind isn't in the right place today, so it seems.
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