She heard laughter from behind the tree, and before she could locate its owner with her eyes, the branch moved, and a smiling gentleman emerged from behind it.
– I couldn’t take it anymore, he told her joyfully
– Don’t touch me ugly man! – Nuszka threw a handful of blueberries at the stranger as if it were to be any weapon against him.
– You wish! Maybe you are not ugly, but some kind of … blue – he looked at her with a smile, tilting his head slightly
She bent down to look at her reflection and saw intense purple streaks on her face from passionately consumed berries.
– Who are you and where did you get so many berries from? – the man inquired
– Go away – she replied, standing up cautiously – they were here when I woke up
– When you woke up? Wait…
– Go away! – she shouted, throwing a short but thick stick raised from the ground at him
The surprised man managed to jump to the side.
– You’re wild!
– Oh yes I am!
– I’m not going to hurt you. – his tone softened.
She didn’t answer. Until a few days ago, she might have been a threat to him. Now she felt vulnerable.
– I’ve been watching you for a while, you look lost. Where are you from?
– I will not talk to the man
– Really? – he was honestly surprised by this – did any hurt you so much?
– I think so – she replied, remembering the vision she had in Baba Yaga’s hut
The man couldn’t help laughing again:
– “I think so” – he repeated after her – come with me to the village, at least they will dress you somehow and you will go on your way
– Be gone – she absolutely did not like this idea
– Okay, I’m leaving and you starve to death if you want. You won’t survive for long eating blueberries.
He turned around and picked up his bow and arrows from the grass behind the tree. Greatly intrigued by the wild stranger, he walked away without looking back until the first bushes passed by. From behind them he coded in his memory every trail that could later direct him to the girl, and he knew that this would not be the last time he saw her.
She stood and watched him go until she lost sight of him. Despite her belief in evil intentions and fear of every human being, she was exhausted by the constant sense of insecurity. She was on the verge of jumping up and running after him.