The fenced, leaf-strewn trail snaked through the trees of the forest, nature surrounding Brandon as he walked slowly along the ground, using a large stick he had found to guide him on his journey. The path was lined with buried planks and logs to direct travelers and hikers on the path and ensure they didn’t go astray… at least, the fence helped with that too. It would be unfortunate if people misstepped and slid down into the forested crater that the trail encircled…
The gentle breeze blew through the greenery, rustling the leaves in the canopy that grew to either side of him. He paused a moment, reaching into his pack to get a drink of water, moving towards the fence to look down through the trees into the covered crater below. The canopy below really was thick; there was almost no space he could see between the leaves.
He had decided to go out to this place to just get a bit of fresh air, some walking exercise and the like. It wasn’t too remote, a local nature trail with the sheltered crater being one of the selling points. It was a simple gentle loop around the crater before coming back to the start. Very popular for families who just wanted to take a trip out to nature with their families. He was just about halfway there, staring down at the indent in the land below.
He set off again, digging his large stick into the soil and taking a step, feeling it crinkle against the dead leaves before continuing on his journey. Judging by how long it had been, a small pitstop wasn’t too far up ahead. In fact, there it was, right in the distance.
He took his time getting there, focusing on the small wooden podium a bench rested on, slightly aged and weathered but still sturdy and comfortable looking. The gentle afternoon sun settled down onto his shoulders, his goal invigorating him to keep going further.
Finally, he had gotten there, taking the first opportunity to sit down on the bench, leaning his head back and exhaling. The breeze felt cool on his forehead, ruffling his somewhat short hair as he sat up, looking around at the scenery. The trees were a bit lighter here and he could see his way around. The distant birdsong of small birds, how weeds and small plants grew up out of the dirt. He fixed his slumping position on the bench, sitting up straighter and looking ahead of him… squinting suspiciously as part of the sturdy wooden fence, made out of large logs of wood bolted together… was broken. Not in the way wear and tear would show. The log had been split in half by something, or someone. He stood up, putting his bag back on as he slowly stepped towards the fence line, a thoughtful yet confused expression upon his face. Who might’ve done this? Was a bit weird… did someone want to get into the crater?
He stood carefully on the soil, holding onto the remaining bit of fence that still stood strong to peer down. Bits of shattered fence lay strewn down the steep incline, with rough bits of grass and greenery growing sparsely up it. From the looks of it, someone certainly tried to break it, or at least split it… The fence wasn’t that tall, though. Any adult could’ve stepped over it, they just chose not too cause they weren’t idiots. So who…?
The loose dirt beneath his foot began to crumble, sending grains of earth down the hill before it suddenly broke underneath him, making him stagger and slip. His heels dug into the earth and he rushed to grasp the broken fence but was too late. With a sudden pump of adrenaline he slid on his backside down the steep hill. Down, down, into the crater below.
Thankfully he suffered no harm, aside from an uncomfortable backside after sliding down a steep slope, finding himself at the foot of the trees. After a moment to collect himself he groaned, wincing a bit as he got off the ground, brushing the back of his pants off and looking at all the dust and dirt that he got on his hands. He dusted his hands off and fixed his clothes up while turning around, peering up the steep incline to where he once was.
The edge of the crater was pretty steep, but to escape it seemed… doable. It seemed hard but he was sure he could find a way up the slope. Hell, there was probably some place else that he could escape from, somewhere along the trail…
Turning around again, Brandon took in surroundings, just seeing how truly thick the trees were collected here. Roots burst out of the ground the deeper he saw into the forest, lush grass sprawled along the forest floor… hell, this looked like a completely different world compared to up there. He stepped in deeper, getting closer to a tree and lightly touching the moss covered bark, feeling it between his fingers. It was a bit cooler down here as the light from the sun slowly filtered in, walking slowly around while keeping the edge of the forest. This was pretty cool, actually. Exploring down here might not be a bad idea-
The sensation of hard stone was felt beneath his feet, causing him to stop for a moment, looking downwards and lifting his leg to stare at the moss covered, smooth stone surface. It wasn’t just rock… it was hard, weathered but certainly chiseled stone.
This was man-made. There was no doubts about it. Why was there a slab of stone just-
He looked up and with his eyes spotted a small, ruined pillar deeper into the forest, covered in moss and crumbling slightly. His curiosity swelled inside of him, his mind fascinated all of a sudden as he stepped in deeper. How bizarre, that the forest of the crater concealed stuff like this all this time. How did no one ever discover this, or even report on this? Even by accident at the very least… Was he the first? He… He had to be, something like this was huge.
Every step, looking through the thin gaps between the trees revealed more and more ruins, structures that had certainly seen better days… but still stood tall, buried within the overgrowth. His heart fluttered with excitement, a sudden thirst for exploration coming over him. He stopped for a second, halfway to the pillar before looking out to the steep incline out of the crater, peering up it with consideration. Was this really a good idea? The forest was deep and he could easily get lost…
He checked his watch for the time. 2 o’clock in the afternoon. He had time before it would get dark. The crater wasn’t that large and if he never was sure where he was after calling it quits, he could just walk to the edge of the crater… the pathway looped around the entire edge of the crater. He took out his phone, disappointed but not surprised there was no reception. They were technically out in the middle of nowhere… but it’d be good for taking photos.
The sound of a snap was heard as he took a photo of the pillar, something that seemed unremarkable out of context but to him, it meant huge things. He peered around, glancing back at the slope he had fallen down and tried to remember his position before traveling in deeper, stepping over large roots that burst out of the ground, even worming their way through the eroded stone. The man-made structures became more complex and full the deeper he traveled into the forest, taking the best photos he could under the light that dancing upon the ground, filtering through the canopy to create speckles that phased in and out of existence. Pillars turned into the sides of crumbling buildings, the floor slowly became even more stony and the evidence of civilisation, within this small crater became more and more obvious.
Time passed as his curiosity took him deeper inside the concealed ruins, the sun slowly sinking through the sky. But Brandon hardly noticed busy photographing destroyed buildings and a ruined fountain, all as the leaves above rustled in the wind. He was well sheltered from the elements and the peace could be felt in the air. There was an almost sweet smell to the ruins. Whatever took place to bring this town to the ground was… not present here. It was almost disconnected from whatever potential tragedy might’ve happened. It was peaceful.
Taking a photo of a more complete building, he smiled at himself, scrolling through the camera roll on his phone before his eyes glanced at the time. 4pm. It was going to get darker soon and he tsked to himself for staying so long. Pocketing his mobile device, he looked around and tried to figure out where to head off, choosing a direction to head in as he affixed the strap of his bag on his shoulder, beginning to set off in his chosen direction.
He walked past some ruins he had already seen, strolling by as the sweet scent in the air grew ever more, wrinkling his nose a little bit as he glanced around him, not stopping his walk until he saw something move in front of him.
Brandon stopped, halting in his tracks as the thing, not 10 feet away from him looked up at him. The two’s eyes met and… he really couldn’t believe what he was looking at.
It seemed to be a small, feminine creature, with a poofy white dress and green pigtails yet something about it seemed off. It seemed almost natural… literally, like it had come from natural. Like a fruit, almost.
The thing cocked its head as he knelt down, trying to get to its height as he gave a friendly smile, bringing out his phone slowly from his pocket. “Hey… It’s okay. I’m friendly.” He said softly, cooing as the creature decided what to do. He worked the camera on his phone with one hand as it began to step closer, stretching out his other hand in a friendly gesture. It moved up to his hand, peering at it as the sweet scent filled the air around him. No doubt this must be the thing that smelled so pleasant. After a moment it nuzzled its smooth, hard twintails against his hand, getting him to smile as it made a cute, shrill cry as he took a few photos, laughing a little to himself before he slowly took his hand away. Brandon started to stand, muttering apologies to the little creature as he tried to keep his heart under control. He had photo evidence of these ruins in this crater AND these strange little creatures?! This was amazing… He’d even go as far to say this was right out of a fantasy.
Beginning to walk slowly away, waving at the little creature as it stared back with a bit of surprise, he was shocked to find he had walked into another one. In fact, two. No, three. More similar looking creatures began to peek out of their hiding places, coming from behind trees, out of bushes, out of the ruined buildings and gathered before him, encircling him as the light from above began to dim. He was in awe as the swarm of feminine plant people gathered around him, standing just up to his legs as they all stared at him with cute, dark purple eyes. They muttered about themselves, a cute chatter he didn’t understand as he looked all around him, turning around. They… really were cute, huh. He waved at them before trying to step past them but they refused to budge.
An awkward laugh escape his lips as he rubbed the back of his head, stepping back before speaking. “...Uuuhh, sorry, I need to be somewhere… do you mind moving?”
No response, at least one that he wanted. The creatures looked at each other, then to something else away from him and before he too could turn to look, thick vines were tossed over him and pulled tight before he was swarmed by the creatures, swept off his feet and hoisted up onto their hands, a crowd of tiny plant people carrying him as thick vines were wrapped around his torso and legs as they cheered and began to carry him off as he spluttered in shock, trying to escape from his bindings and screaming out loud. “Let me go!! What the fuck are you doin- Nggh! Careful! Don’t touch there- HEY! What did I say?!”
They carried him off, over the bumps in the forest ground as he continued to struggle, as much as he could until he felt exhaustion come over him, just letting them take him wherever. The vines were too thick and he was bound surprisingly well for a bunch of fruity smelly princess midgets.
The sun slowly began to set as the trek stretched out, the light fading from the trees as the nightlife began to bloom, mushrooms and small, vine-wrapped lanterns began to glow and flourish with light as he was taken through a large, overrun town square, towards a large ruined castle. Half of the side had crumbled away as they took him inside. He constantly craned his neck upwards as they carried him through the ruined town, looking at his surroundings… wondering what they had in store for him as they brought him into the large castle.
It was dark inside but the growing flora helped alleviate that issue as it began to glow, some plant people even moving to light the candles as some chattered to the others, a lot of them running around. They were surprisingly organised… if he managed to get out of this one, he’d certainly have stories to tell about these intelligent little fruits.
Finally, after what seemed like an age of being carried around, with a sore and aching back, he was brought up a flight of stairs after being brought through a large, empty hallway as torches were lit around him and dumped into a chair, his back pressed against the aged wood which had miraculously been preserved all this time. He groaned, finally free of all those tiny hands grabbing his back as shuffled a bit in the chair… the binding vines still wrapped around his body.
He looked all around him, at the mossy stone surfaces with a disheveled carpet laying in the center of the room. One side of the hall was missing, having caved in long ago but lay clear of debris. This once well furnished place now lay in ruins… but not forgotten.
As he sat illuminated by the light of flickering torches, idly trying to wriggle or break out of these vines, he finally looked down at what he was sat upon. The armrests were well carved and made out of a dulled kind of metal while the back of the chair stretched far above him, towering far above his head as everything began to click. When he lifted his head, the creatures stood in an orderly fashion, a legion of sweet smelling beings that bowed their heads as his gaze ran over them, a strange tingle running up his spine. There was no way as he finally realised.
He was placed upon a throne and they had chosen him, an outsider, for their coronation.
...Which, to be fair was quite strange, seeing how he was a dude and not like them in the- Holy shit what the fuck is happening?!
From around the throne, a shining halo of light began to glow, beaming upwards around him as the mystical magic began to focus inwards on the being sat upon the aged throne. The alien force that worked its way onto his skin, penetrating and worming its way to his core sent shivers down his spine, his hair standing on end as he struggled, wanting off of the throne. Even as he tried to throw himself off the throne, some attentive creatures ran from either side of him, reaching through the magic to hold him back on the throne. They were surprisingly strong as he yelled out as the coronation took place.
“Le-Let me go, you freaks!” He called out, trying to tip himself out of the chair as he bucked his legs but to no avail. He stopped as his stamina ran out briefly, breathing heavily before glancing down at his clenched hands, his stamina surging back to full as he saw them begin to turn a dark, fruity purple, barking out orders to let him go… but they remained bowed, not helping him in his request.
He felt his entire body beginning to reduce in size ever so slowly, an added bagginess to his clothes he hadn’t felt before as the skin continued to turn dark purple, traveling up his arms as they began to slim. His fingers began to get shorter as his hands were quickly becoming featureless, his fingernails disappearing amongst the glowing magic. The roots of his hair prickled and then began to grow, flowing downwards down his back, longer, lusher hair… merely paving the way for the changes to come.
While his arms may be small, his legs were certainly the opposite. He could feel strength flowing into them, accidentally kicking off his sneakers to tumble down the green covered steps to reveal his featureless feet, turning into mere points he would have to stand on… but his legs, the power…!
Brandon slowly began to calm down, despite the numerous changes to his body. He cried out as a couple of the plant people stepped forward to tug off his pants, revealing his longer, smoother luscious legs, the same dark purple colour. He stopped himself from making a noise, looking at his long, strong legs with simulated thigh high boots, even as his hips started to curve outwards, making an indent in his shirt that covered more of his torso due to his shrinking stature.
His hair, long and luscious touched the seat of the throne, his fringe curling around his forehead and towards the back of his head while the base of his hair began to harden, turning green… becoming more plant-like if anything. Brandon watched in curiosity now, having resigned to his fate but… getting more into it with each passing moment.
He blinked, his eyelashes becoming more luscious as his hips became more voluptuous, the colour of his face paling, even the colour of his eyes becoming the same purple as the rest of his body. His torso was nothing compared to his hips, bulbous (quite literally, it was that round) and beautiful, getting to see a glimpse of it as his shirt was pulled off by her servants, shaking her head as a ruffled covering covered her mouth, shaking around her green hair, separated into three, long strands that were almost as long as she was tall. She took in a deep breath, her eyes closed as he could almost hear the angelic choir as she was finally crown, a small growth flourishing atop her head… then she opened her eyes, upon her subjects illuminated by the flickering torchlight.
She looked around silently, at her respectful and bowing court as the halo of light faded around her throne, finally allowed to stand up as those attending to her backed off to the sides of the moss covered throne room. As her purple eyes swept over her audience, what had just happened to her, a giggle slowly arose in her throat before turning into a haughty laugh, covering where her mouth would be with the back of her hand as the court sneaked peeks at their new queen.
She stopped laughing, turning to the court before beginning to step down the stairs, as her court began to swarm around her, chattering beginning to arise… words that she finally understood. Questions about her wellbeing, questions if she needed help, all the attention poured onto her…
She could get used to this.