The robed man continued to look at her, and in a gentle voice befitting his youthful, kind face, he spoke to her.
"Hello, satyr. Tell me, what wish did you summon me to grant?"
"S-summon you? I just fell asleep on this rock! And when I woke, you appeared!" The girl's voice trembled, wary of this being.
"Ah, but you did summon me! You slept nude on the rock. I apologise for waking you, however, but the hour grows late. It is dangerous for one of your age to be wandering the woods. This shrine draws evil souls as well as good ones." He gestured to the thick trees behind him, and the girl had to agree that they did look particularly menacing. They were weaved together like the thick roots of mangrove swamp plants, or skeletal fingers... She shuddered, and focused her attention on him once again.
"I apologise for summoning you for no reason, but I was not aware. Would it be possible to make a wish anyway...?" A million ideas ran through her head. She assumed that this man must be powerful to have a shrine dedicated to him. Even though the stone slab was weathered, the grove itself seemed to glow with an ethereal light. Fireflies danced in the air, and the soft moss underfoot was dotted with tine, perfectly rounded blue-white mushrooms.
"Why yes, it would!" He said, a mischievous spreading across his face. "I have enough power to give you anything you desire. However, there will be a price you must pay. It will not affect your wish, nor the people around you. And it will not be a lifetime of enslavement. Many people have worried about that one!" He laughed gently, as glanced to the side for a second, as if recollecting past memories.
"Okay then... That sounds fair. I would like to find the right person for me one day. A male, healthy and happy, to give me children and take me away with him to his home. That's all I want in life." She tried to keep the desperation from her voice, as she over explained herself. Embarrassed, she looked away and nervously scratched her ear. She looked up at him, and noticed he had a frown creasing his forehead.
"That's an unusual request. Most people ask for riches or great treasures, sometimes even power. Many kings, queens, and great rulers have appeared due to my intervention. However, I seem to have fallen from popularity in recent times. No one has been here in at least five decades. However, I will grant your wish. Do you have a particular person in mind already?" He tapped his fingers against his leg, impatient for her reply.
"No... But I'd like to find him soon. I cannot stay at home much longer. My parents are becoming unbearable. They are trying to enforce a marriage between me and a bastard satyr. His father was a goat, and his mother a whore! I will not tolerate a marriage with him, let alone bear his children!" Her eyes blazed from the humiliation and anger, and she curled her hands into fists.
"I need no reason to grant a wish. Your story will not move me. So you are happy for any male to come and take you away to his home and give you children, as long as he is healthy and happy? What about your parents and your friends, will they not miss you?" His voice seemed full of genuine concern, and that small frown once again crossed his face.
"Yes. I don't care for my parents. They're too focused on my sister's child, and I never kept in contact with my old friends anyway. I'd like this to happen as soon as possible." The flame in her eyes faded, to be replaced with a hope as she looked up at him. Please, please let someone take me away from here..."
"As you wish. What is your name, girl?" He raised his hands to chest height slowly; green and black sparks flickered from them, emitting an eerie glow.
"I am Cochee. Do you have a name?" She asked boldly, her anger having given her confidence.
"Oh yes, I have many names. I was considered an evil deity by the Norse people a long, long time ago. But that was just a big misunderstanding. I was the Trickster, God of Mischief, and I was tied to a rock with a serpent overhead as a punishment." As he spoke, the green and black sparks turned to flames, and his green eyes glowed mysteriously. "The serpent dripped poison onto me, and the pain was great. My wife caught the poison in a bowl to spare me, but when she left to empty it the pain returned. The Norse believed this is what caused earthquakes, and it wouldn't surprise me."
By now, the flames were spitting the same particles that had rose from the crack in the rock the Trickster had emerged from. He stepped down from the slab, and Cochee flinched as he directed these particles towards her, but they merely buzzed around her, occasionally touching her skin. They felt strange, like warm summer rain with a mild static shock. Her fur stood on end, and the wind suddenly picked up. The force from these strong gales forced her to kneel at the Trickster's feet, and she started to weep from fear.
"Please make it stop! Please!" She begged him, the tears rolling down her cheeks before being swept away by the howling wind. He laughed cruelly and shouted to her.
"I'm making your wish come true! It'll be all over in a second!"
The wind was increasing in speed; by now, it was almost enough to pick the young satyr right off the floor. Suddenly she felt weightlessness and let out a piercing scream, thinking the winds had caught her, but then she looked down at herself. She was fading slowly, the particles flying round her until all she could see was a dark green blur. As she watched her body increasing in transparency, she felt a deep acceptance of her fate. She was going to die, and there was nothing she could do about it. She thought back over her life, her memories from school and home. Playing in the park with school friends, complaining about doing chores around the farm, the recent arguments with her parents... She sighed, and heard strange echoes of it bouncing back from the particles. She didn't have much time before she had completely disappeared and she wondered whether she would continue to think and feel when her body was gone. Something grabbing her arm jolted her from these thoughts, and she screamed as the face of the Trickster appeared through the swirl of darkness. He held her body close to him, as he too began to fade. She felt a strange sinking feeling, as though she were falling through thick mud or quicksand. As the sensation closed over her head her mind gave way under the stress of what had happened in the past few minutes. The last thing she saw was the Trickster resting his forehead against hers and whispering some words in an strange, ancient language, before she fell unconscious.