The Rock Gardener
The Fae Awakening
They didn’t know they were being watched.
The two hikers ran with their running shorts clinging tightly against their legs. A man and woman followed the pebbled path through the woods around a tight cliff raising above the trees. Pebbles ground and sticks crunched as their feet smashed into the earth. Following the curve, the woman sped passed the man. They disappeared a few moments later, their footsteps softening as they ran further away.
Against the cliff, a pile of rocks lay with moss and lichens covering their sides. Vines grew around the softened, eroded edges, connecting them together. The rocks shifted slightly as the sounds of country music pumped through the air.
A hiker walked down the trail with a blue backpack strapped to his back. On each side, a speaker, sewed into the lining, pumped music into the silent, natural world around him. He stared at the ground, scrolling left and right on a slim, black phone held in his hands.
The stone pile quieted.
Loud waves of music hit the stones, vibrating loose sediments as the hiker passed closely—ignoring the world around him. He followed behind the runners, slowly disappearing with the curve of the trail.
The stone pile shook, cracking as the vines tightened. Loose debris—leaves, dirt, sticks, and other natural materials—fell to the ground in a cloud of dust. Vines stretched against the ground, lifting the stones into the air as a center mass rose towards the cliff edge.
A face with tiny, small eyes appeared as the creature stood.