The photographer thought he’d captured some unusual shadows in his photo of the glimmering stream water.
He didn’t realise was that it was a frog – curled in mid-leap, twisting and turning to hide a fairy from the camera viewfinder.
The fairy looked up with a startled gasp as she realised what was happening and quickly disappeared in a flutter of muted sparkles.
She reappeared behind the green safety of some long friendly grass and dropped her face into her palms with a groan. She’d been so entranced by her attempts to skim across the water that her attention had slipped. Badly.
She was now going to have to pay the frog in days and days of slug-bread and spider-cakes, per the long-standing arrangement between the river fairies and frogs. And he was known to be such a grumpy frog too! What bad luck! She groaned again and scrubbed her eyes.
The frog landed heavily in a particularly putrid muddy patch at the water’s edge. He got to his feet and looked down at the mud spattering his whole being, and scowled ferociously.
The other nearby river creatures, watching the scene unfold in a breathless tableau, snapped back into life and edged carefully away from the frog as it moved with deliberate slowness towards the fairy. No-one wanted to get in the way of frog fireworks.
The photographer admired his photo of the river, all glimmers and shimmers and thought how peaceful nature was. He absently rubbed his hand against the weird frisson on the back of his neck. Then he got to his feet and kept walking.
Backstory: Based on an old Twitter microfic written around the time Twitter expanded its character count from 140 to 280. I know this because I took advantage of the new extra limit to re-share an expanded version of the story. I expanded the story further for the version which appeared in my Ree-Writes #11: Summer Edges, and I used an illustration I generated via AI image creator, DALL-E 2 which I played with in my Adobe Photoshop Express app. This photo is a different one that I took and which I’ve played with in my Photoshop Express app; I’ve also edited my words from the newsletter version to more closely fit this image.
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