Things are finally looking up and the words are flowing better. It might have something to do with the fact that interesting things are happening in the story.
Today, I got up to 36,773 and I'm estimated to finish on 20th
They passed a place where the branches and boles of the trees were dotted with tiny houses, each lit with a crystal droplet that hung over the front door on a pole. Tiny creatures with wispy white hair and really big noses scurried from branch to branch, following them and calling out to each other in singsong voices.
The road narrowed, and on occasion they had to duck under branches. At other times, branches drew back to allow them easier passage. It seemed that trees, like people, varied in how polite and helpful they were. Tay no longer asked where they were going, because the living silence of the wood brought him peace and he was content just to walk.
Rounding a corner they came to a pool where a golden fox with shimmering aqua scales along its head and back stood proud on and overhanging branch. Its feathery tail brushed the surface and fluttered in the breeze. The fox turned its head to regard them with calm golden eyes, then it leaped from the end of the branch and dove with barely a ripple into the water, its tail fanning like seaweed. Tay watched the floating tail disappear as the fox went deeper. Although he waited, the fox did not surface again.
“Is it alright?” Tay scanned the banks of the small pool, but there was no sign of the fox.
“Why would it not be?”
“It’s a fox. I didn’t know foxes could swim at all, let alone stay under this long.”
“Scaled foxes are amphibious. It can stay under the water for hours, although they prefer to sun themselves on tree branches and flat stones.”
“They are, indeed.”
Shortly afterwards, Tay began to hear the sound of running water, and within minutes the path reached its conclusion at a wide, deep pool, fed by a waterfall. But it was a waterfall like none Tay had ever seen or dreamed of.
A circle of rock appeared to be suspended in mid–air. It was filled with swirling mist, and brightly coloured birds flew in and out, along with ethen and larger fairies. The waterfall spilled over the edge of the circle, crystal clear and sparkling. In fact, there seemed to be real crystals tumbling along with the water. Every now and again, a fairy would swoop and snatch one.
Playing in the frothing water, were what Tay had originally thought were young people, until he saw
their tails. “Mermaids,” he said.
“Where? Oh yes. Mers, nyphs, elementals. All kinds. They like forest pools.”
“Is this where we’re going?” Tay asked hopefully.
“No. This way.”
Tay was reluctant to walk away from the beautiful scene, especially as some of the mers had noticed them and were heading across the pool. “Can’t we just––”
“If we stay, the mers will keep us talking all day. They’re silly creatures and I can assure you they will drive you insane within the first ten minutes. However, they are so innocent it’s hard to be rude and tear yourself away when they beg so prettily.” There was something in Wisp’s voice that suggested he didn’t find it difficult at all.