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zack's picture book!
i will put any pictures i can sneak in here!
What The Fluff Anons
[NPC] Rina
Hey there!

I've got a special gift for you!

From: An anonymous benefactor

Everything was so very quiet. The silence surrounded you like a friend's old, worn cloak. It was not an uncomfortable thing; it was soft and made you feel safe. The quiet of the woods was peaceful. Above you, the heavens stretched across the eternity of the obsidian sky. The moon's soft glowing rays of light slipped down past the emerald leaves of the trees until they touched the ground alighting the luscious ancient foliage that silently rested on the floor of the woods. Deep, rich shadows soundlessly observed you as you took in your surroundings. The cool air tickled your face as you stood, statue still, wondering where exactly you were. You had been walking to fetch some wood for the fire.

The thought reminded you of your friends. In your minds eye, you could see their smiling faces; there had been just barely enough light from the glowing red campfire to see them. Your nose twitched with the memory of the smoke from the small fire. The warmth of it haunted your skin... It had been you who had offered to gather more wood to feed those golden-orange flickering tongues. You had just gone a little ways into the woods when you discovered this silent realm.

Again, you looked around yourself. From a place deep within yourself, the profound certainty arose that these woods were of an entirely different world than the woods where your friends had set up camp. Despite knowing this, you were not afraid. Your heart was calm. Curiosity began to take hold of your thoughts.

A soft blue glow began to form between two trees nearby. It was a faint glow. The distant echo of a child's laugh met your ears. In awe, you gazed as the blue glow burned brighter before shifting into a small rounded flame. The blue flame hovered a few feet above the ground as it flickered in and out by a wind that was known only to it. You moved towards the unworldly flame, but just as you were within touching distance, the flame quickly receded away from you. It stopped a few yards away; again you heard a child's playful laugh.

This time when you moved towards the flame, you moved quickly. But again, just as you were ready to touch it, the blue flame escaped yards away from you. You continued to try, but to no avail. Running now, you raced after the blue flame. When you got exceedingly close to touching it, but ended up failing, the soft laughter would echo across the woods. You were soon laughing as well as you ran after the flame. It was a game of chase. There was no true reason as to why you were chasing the small blue flame. You were simply doing it because it was fun. It reminded you of the days when you were younger. The games you had played with your friends...The days when the world's eye did not burden you with its judgments.

Your breath was all but gone when you finally slowed to a stop. You grinned inanely as you stared up at the little blue ball of flame. It bobbed up and down silently in the air as it waited for you. In a sudden blitz, you dived at the flame in an attempt to catch it off guard.

Leaf and branch scratched at your clothes as you dived successfully onto the edge of a dark green bush just beyond the blue flame. A yelp sounded from your lips as the prickly bush poked and prodded at you. Soft brown dirt mixed with dewy grass stained the front of your shirt as you lay still for a few moments on the ground. With a groan, you untangled yourself from the bush. You felt like a mess and a chill in the air was quickly making its way into your bones.

You sat cross-legged and suddenly had the feeling of being watched. You turned your head and pale blue eyes met your own. Surprise washed over your face as you stared at the girl sitting on a fallen brown log just a few yards away. A silver mask covered her face. Her white hair shifted across her shoulders as she tilted her head slightly. Her dress was elegant, that of ages long passed. What was she doing here?

"Wh-What are you doing here?" she was as surprised as you were.

Words stumbled out of your mouth, but came to a quick halt. Your eyes widened even further as you stared at the girl. Her form was beginning to fade out and soon she was barely even visible. A few seconds later, she began to solidify once more. The girl seemed oblivious to this process, her surprised eyes still watching you. Her form continued to fade in and out, almost like the ocean sweeping across the beach before receding away.

Her silver mask began to glint blue as the blue flame appeared near her and child like laughter flittered across the air. The Phantom stared at the orb and sighed.

"A will-o'-the wisp..." the blue orb circled around her playfully causing a small smile to sneak its way on her lips, "Naughty little spirits. They enjoy making travelers lose their way." she continued as she gazed at it.

You stared at the will-o'-the wisp with a little better understanding. The name was slightly familiar to you. The Phantom approached you with a held out hand, "I am sorry about this. Let me help you back to where you were,"

Your body was stiff as well as numb from the cold, but you managed to take the girl's white-gloved hand. The moment your hand reached her own, the Phantom's form seemed to take new life. She seemed completely solid and you wondered if it had been a trick of the eye when you saw her form fade out early. You follow her as she began to lead you through the forest, the will-o'-the wisp following swiftly nearby.

Drowsiness soon took hold of your body as you walked and your eyelids began to droop. A yawn slipped from your mouth causing the Phantom to glance back at you, "We are almost there," A tone of concern slipped into her voice as she spoke. Her pace quickened to a point that you had to concentrate to keep up.

Ahead of you, a familiar orange glow loomed from behind the dark trees. Crickets chirped around you and an owl flew off a branch nearby. Fireflies and bugs flew across the air on invisible highways. The voices of your friends soon met your ears and between the trees you could make out the campsite.

The Phantom slowed to a stop when her eyes found the campsite. She turned to you, her form fading in and out of existence once more, "Try not to stray to far into the woods," the will-o'-the wisp floated to the area just above her shoulder, "Will-o'-the wisps are spirits with a young and playful nature. They never mean any harm, but sometimes their actions lead hikers or travelers into trouble."

You slowly nodded your understanding and she smiled. The sudden loud laughter from your friends caused you to instinctively turn. The glow from the campfire seemed brighter than when you left, making you wonder if they had thrown the last few wood pieces into it. You looked back to speak to the girl once more, but the darkness of the forest was the only thing that remained. You inhaled quickly from surprise and let it out in a sigh. You had expected her to be there, the will-o'-the wisp floating at her side. For a moment, you found yourself saddened, but you realized the feeling of being watched had not left you. You closed your eyes to concentrate on your surroundings, and a moment later, you smiled. You could sense that the Phantom was still present somewhere nearby; just not visible. When you opened your eyes, a small present rested on the ground in front of you. On it, was a note written in beautiful calligraphy from the Phantom:

The will-o'-the wisp wished for you to have this. In thanks for playing with it~

--- Phantom Anon

Why don't you head over to your inventory and see what you got!

fittingly, that gift was a Blue Round Paper Lantern. 3nodding

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