Watch Your Step! by Ohad

Kaelen walked serenely through the quiet forest, breathing in the clean air and scent of flowers. He loved this forest, loved its trees casting intricate shadows on the ground, and the sounds of the gurgling creek that ran alongside the path. It was his space to decompress from his oftentimes loud and consistently tiring job at the Dragon’s Hearth Inn, the local tavern in which Kaelen worked as a barkeeper’s assistant. Living in town meant he was close to the Inn, but also meant that he didn’t frequently get in the state of tranquillity that being alone in the glade gave him. On this walk, however, it seemed that Kaelen wasn’t exactly alone. This became especially apparent when the dense mass he stubbed his toe on started yelling at him.

“Oi! Watch where you’re steppin’, lad!” shouted the angry mass, who soon turned around and revealed itself as a forest druid. “You can’t go prancin’ around with your eyes closed! You’re not the lead actor in some sort of theatre you lot have in your cities!”

Speechless, Kaelen had never seen a druid before. Dwarves, elves and other creatures often frequented the Dragon’s Hearth, but druids seldom ventured into the city, as far as Kaelen knew.

“Oh! I’m really sorry, sir,” he said bumblingly. “I didn’t notice you.”

“Yeah, well, it’s pretty hard to when your eyes are closed,” the druid grumbled.