Young Satyr


Aidan Kosol

A dark forest rests under the night’s star dotted sky, with the lights of fireflies mimicking the heavens above. The underbrush lay still and silent, with only the small movements of nocturnal rodents giving disruption. The trees above flow peacefully with the wind, a small mythical woodland creature walks alone in the serenity of the forest. His legs are that of a deer while his torso has the appearance of an oak tree. The bark patterns fades into an almost human head with antlers made of wood jutting out of his matted brown hair, and vines with budding flowers wrap around the antlers. He stares at the ground as he walks, listening to every step he takes, watching the soft Earth squish slightly under his hooves. 

He walks through the forest and to the edge of a river that divides the great woods in two. He sits down at the water’s edge staring at his reflection in the water. He sits there staring at himself, his head is void of all thought, he does nothing more than stare at the water. His quiet contemplation is interrupted by the sounds of loud footsteps in the distance. The water shakes with each step, he feels the vibrations in the ground. He stands up and watches as two massive stone golems with markings engraved in their bodies pass by him using the river as a road of sorts. One of the golems turns its head, and using its glowing blue eyes looks at the tiny forest satyr. The golem waves with its massive stone hand as it walks past. The satyr gives a weak wave, and an even weaker smile in return. He watches as the two golems traverse the river lifting their legs slightly before creating tiny waves as they gently step back down onto the river bed.

After the golems pass, the satyr lifts his arms commanding a tree and creating a bridge with its roots. He slowly walks across the bridge, looking in the direction of the golems. After he’s crossed the bridge, he lifts his arms again, and the roots return to how they were, leaving no trace of a bridge ever being there. He walks into the forest, but the forest on this side of the river is different. The trees have purple and silver fungi growing on their sides. Green luminescent mushrooms line the underbrush. He walks through the forest not paying attention to the beautiful glowing mushrooms. He walks looking straight ahead with glassed over eyes. He then comes across an old broken church. 

The church has an old stone foundation with wooden walls and a wooden roof. The wood is rotting and parts of the church have disintegrated, lost to time. The satyr walks inside, and sits on the dirt floor in front of a broken monument. He hears a bird flapping its wings and land behind him. 

“Young satyr, why are you here?” A woman’s voice calls out.

The satyr, startled, jumps, then turns around to see a white owl perched on the door frame. The owl’s wings open, and it flutters to the ground. The owl then turns into an old woman with white hair. She wears a brown dress with a loosely tied rope belt. She bends over to look the satyr in the eyes, and asks again, “Why are you here?” 

The satyr stumbles over his words, “I-I don’t know.” 

“Child, this is no place for you, run home.”

“I don’t have a home.”

The woman stares at the satyr pondering about what to say next, “Then make one.” 


“Come, let me tell you a story.” The woman walks out the door, and the satyr follows cautiously. She stands in the middle of the forest, then points to a rock overgrown with vines and moss. She shoots her finger upward, and the foliage retreats to the ground, revealing a rock golem’s head. She then extends her hand outwards with her palm exposed, and the golem’s eyes flicker. 

“That gollum was once a sworn protector of this town.”

“This was a town?” The satyr asks. 

“Yes, a town made by druids like myself. These giants we constructed were to protect us, they were inscribed with runes binding them to the town for as long as it stood. These golems patrolled the lands keeping a watchful eye on its people. But they were built to defend against invading forces, and one day… One day they had to, along with so many of us druids. We lost, and now the surviving golems wander the globe. Without being able to do their primary purpose, they are free, and though they may be imposing, they are friends of the Earth. They never intentionally harm unless inscribed to do so.”

The golem’s eyes stop flickering, and the druidess starts walking into the thick brush, “Follow, young satyr.”

The satyr follows the druidess as they walk together through the woods, walking past remnants of old buildings. The satyr watches the ground and notices it change from the natural Earth to stone blocks covered from decades of plant growth. The druidess places her hand on the ground, and the plants pull back revealing a stone plaza with a place for a long gone fountain.

“Young satyr, I want you to look around, and imagine how this place looked nearly two hundred years ago. Imagine the center of a bustling city, tall buildings surrounding you, the laughter of children as they throw pebbles into the fountain…”

She chuckles a little bit, “We used to make wishes as we threw pebbles into the fountain. Now I want you to imagine those same children running for their lives as an army kills and burns everything in sight, as those that were supposed to protect you are killed before your very eyes.”

The druidess pauses, she looks towards the ground where the fountain stood, “Young satyr, do you know what that’s like?”

The satyr looks at the druidess with great sorrow, “No ma’am.” 

She starts walking again. This time she doesn’t have to say anything, the satyr just follows. She leads him down a moss covered road, past decrepit old buildings. She keeps glancing behind her to make sure that the satyr is still following.

“You know, young satyr, I… I’ve never told this story to anyone.” 

“You haven’t?”

“No, I haven’t had anyone to tell it to.” 

“How long have you been alone?” 

The druidess stops walking, she turns to face the satyr, “They killed everyone I’d ever cared about when I was a little girl, no older than twelve.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry.” 

“You don’t have to be sorry, young satyr. Can you tell me how long you’ve been alone?” 

“For a few years, I used to live in a village with other satyrs, but… I left, and I can’t go back any more.” 

“I see.” 

The pair stops in front of a small stone cottage, the druidess then says, “I rebuilt my home. Young satyr, if I am able to survive for almost two centuries on my own I know you can. So go, and create a place for you to call your home.” 

“But, why can’t I live here with you?”

“Oh young one, I’m but an old woman, one that is not long for this world. Go, and find the place that is right for you, the people that are right for you.” 

“But how will I know which place is right for me?”

“Satyr, close your eyes, and dream of your home.” 

The satyr closes his eyes. 

“Now go, find that place.” 

“I will, miss… What’s your name?”

“My name is not important.” 

“Well, thank you madam.”

“You’re welcome young satyr, I hope you live a long, rich life.” 

The satyr dashes off down the path, he stops for a second, and waves to the druidess, she waves back, gives a gentle smile, then turns back into an owl.