An ancient lowland wood full of life, yet not. A pool hidden, with secrets! A silent, secret pool in the deepest part of the woodland. An ordinary stretch of forest in a lowland plain in the north of England. The Vale of York, a huge flat expanse of land nestled between hills and moors forty miles apart.
The modern age is all around. Planes overhead, railways and roads dissect the land. Yet here in the heart of the forest is something as old as time. In this pool there is nothing modern, nothing clean or fresh. As we are made of elements from nature, formed together so is she.
A creature so strange to us. When man was in his infancy it was we that were strange to her kind. Her type had at that time inhabited the earth, they were the dominant species. An earth that was a water world inhabited by creatures formed from the same molecules as man yet looking so different. A shape shifter, a carnivorous shape shifter made from water.
Life had been hard for the Dyodedra surviving in this pool. A stagnant pool within the forest-covered in a thick blanket of pond weed. The river nearby regularly flooded the whole plain for miles around for tens of thousands of years. The floodwaters easily reached the forest a couple of times a year. Te creature had come and gone as she pleased for all this time.. Arriving on a flood tide and staying till the next one would take her off in search of a place to have her young. They had not survived since she became trapped in this pool. Modern farming and flood defences had stopped the river reaching the flood plain and forest.
She managed to eat frogs and rats, they were plentiful. Sometimes a deer or dog would stray too close to the pool. If they did a long invisible sliver of water her neck and head would stretch upwards from the pool. Her main form was far below. Once caught the prey was dragged down deep and ingested by the sad creature. For she was sad, her kind had been in decline as humans had evolved and swarmed across the planet. As with many other creatures the Dyodedra were finding it hard to survive in the wake of man.
Now only a few still survived in the worlds rivers and oceans. She so wished the flood would come to enable her to float out of this dirty stinking pool. The next time she was sure she would not come back but would find a new home. A home in fresher water and nearer a good supply of food.
There were times when she might rise up above the water, taking shapes of anything she chose. Beautiful shimmering shapes of water. Her home now made that impossible the pool was so dirty. Nowadays as the long watery tendril came out to see who or what was about, it appeared as a long wandering tube of green slimy weed.
Not so long ago there was noise not far from the pools edge. A working man was putting up a post and signs. He had been in the forest for a few days and was getting closer to the pool. At last he reached the water’s edge. As he packed away his tools and put his bag on his back ready to leave. The poor man stopped transfixed.
The pool was bright green, almost circular covered as I have said in a thick layer of algae and weed. A light shone from below and the worker saw what he thought was a pipe coming from the pool. The pipe dripping with water and pond weed extended ever closer towards him. He was baffled trying to work out what it must mean.
Today the Dyodera decided to show herself in a form he would recognise. She slowly rose from the pool taking the shape of a beautiful tall human woman. A tall human woman covered in green slime and made from water. The water dripped and flowed from her long hair, down her back and into the pool. It was like a waterfall cascading from her head.
One of her arms was longer than the other and getting long all the time. It reached out beyond the pools edge, long fingers stretching to touch the now raised hand of the worker. He too stretched out in friendship, curiosity, call it what you will. It was of course the wrong thing to do. He should have run, run as fast and far as he could.
The Dyodera whipped her hand around his wrist and quickly wrapped the long greasy tendril around his entire arm. He screamed and shouted, there was no one in the forest that morning to hear his cries. It mattered not, even if there had been he would never have been found. In a matter seconds he was gone dragged into the pool, deep down and gone forever. His clothes and tools mingling with all the other debris in the mud.
The signs he had worked hard to put up were still there for all to see. The environment agency had realised that the flood defences on the nearby river were no longer working properly. Nearby towns were in danger of flooding because of rising water levels. From spring the following year the river defences were to be breached at a point near the forest. The plain and forest would be allowed to flood once again as it had done for thousands of years before human intervention.