A red-haired girl lay at ease, scrubbing herself with the nourishing forest water. She felt the liquid tickle at her supple hips and round breasts. A single drop caressed her navel, as soft as a lover’s kiss. She sighed long as the tension left her tired body. She glimpsed up at the rising morning stars and smiled.
Water splashed behind her. She turned to meet the newcomer. It was a blond youth, unclothed as she. He moved forward with a determined grace, as his long golden locks swung around his symmetrical body and concealed his skin. The redhead shrunk back and gaped with astonishment.
“My love,” the youth said, “I’ve longed for this moment.” He came closer. She hesitated before taking a step back. “Please, my love, join with me. My body aches for you. I would sooner die than continue my existence without.” Tears welled up in the girl’s eyes. She flung herself into his embrace. Their bodies merged as one. The redhead cried with joy, tugging at the Nymph’s body and him at hers.
“Yes, join with me,” he said, his voice now guttural and deep. The red-haired girl fell back. She stared at a twisted reflection of herself.
“You are mine,” the demented doppelganger said, “you will always be mine, dragon slave.” The evil copy cackled with delight. Teeth shone from the demon’s mouth, a river of black flame within.
The girl stumbled away from her tormentor, as a small girl in jade twintails and a pointy silvery dress appeared betwixt. The newcomer bared her hands, acute like blades.
“Master, please run!” the jade girl cried.
“You cannot protect her from me,” the evil twin said.
The redhead dashed into the woods. The laughter of the dark twin followed her. The trees mutated into grotesque forms and reached for her. Tears fell from her cheeks, forming puddles of blood that came sickeningly viscous to her bare feet. Her lungs burned and she collapsed as a chill seeped into her. The pungent stench of corruption enveloped her nostrils, threatening to infect her.
Soft hands graced her cheeks. It was the blond youth again. The young man hugged her close.
“It’s okay. I won’t let Her get you,” he said.
The redhead embraced the warmth of his slender body combat the chill, yet she pulled slightly away, afraid for the evil’s return.
The youth brought her face to his. “This is a dream. Remember who you are. Wake up, Pepper!”