The river – a short scene


I wrote this short fantasy scene as an exercise. I rarely read fantasy, although I have read some. My preferences in fantasy lean more towards realism with a touch of the fanciful thrown in rather than high-fantasy. The image was generated using ChatGPT4 with DALL-E. It was an interesting exercise and one I hope you enjoy.

The river

Amy walked along the banks of the river, enjoying the crisp spring air. It had been a long and cold winter. She had wanted to walk these paths again for many days, but the snow and ice had made it too treacherous. Now, she could soak in the warming rays of sunshine, listening to the birds singing their welcoming sonnets. As she walked, she sensed something unusual, a feint sulphur-like smell in the air and a rustling sound near the water’s edge.

“Is anyone there?” she whispered. There was an overwhelming feeling of being watched, but she hadn’t seen anyone else while walking.

“Hello?” No answer.

Maybe she was imagining things. Amy decided it was just the birds and small animals moving around in the bushes.

“Hello!” came an almost indistinguishable call.

It sounded like it was coming from the river and under the water. It was muffled, but she definitely heard it. Amy stopped and started to shiver.

As she studied the nearby water, the sulphur smell grew stronger, and Amy saw ripples begin to form on the surface. She’d seen bubbles in the river from fish flitting around scooping insects from the water’s surface, but this seemed different. The ripples grew, fanning out in concentric circles, a slight mist forming above them until they touched the riverbank.

Amy wrapped herself in her arms, transfixed on the water. As she watched, she sensed the sulphur smell changing to a sweeter citrus fragrance, like someone nearby was eating an orange. The water rippled up onto the bank, and the mist began to form into a beautiful young woman. Translucent at first, then perfectly formed. She looked as natural as Amy.

The young woman began to walk towards Amy. “I’m Amara”.

Amy stepped back but stopped and stuttered, “I’m — I’m Amy”.

Amara stood beside her, a soothing smile on her face. “No one has sensed or called me before. I live in the river, but it’s been so lonely. Come, let’s talk”.


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