Once upon a time, there was a beautiful goddess living on a mountain. She had long blonde hair that perfectly framed her face, and her body curved in all the right ways. The goddess spent her days traipsing the mountain paths, helping the foliage grow so that the mountain stayed strong and happy. It was very peaceful, and she got to see all kinds of creatures come and go.
The only problem was that the goddess could not leave. She was bound to spend the rest of her days here, and the only thing that ever changed was the river. The goddess was fascinated by its ever-flowing current. She spent many hours marvelling at the creatures and items that it brought to her doorstep.
One day, the goddess was kneeling down next to the river, staring at her wispy reflection in its churning waters, when, slowly, a man arose out of the water in front of her. He was the most handsome creature the goddess had ever laid eyes on. He had ruffled silver hair and piercing blue eyes. “Hello beautiful.” Before the goddess had time to think, he reached forward and kissed her hand, then stared at her unabashedly.
He introduced himself as Corben, a water sprite just passing through. He was entirely naked, which did not help the goddess pay attention to their conversations, but somehow she managed. Before they knew it, the entire day had faded away. They just talked and talked.
“Sadly, it is time for me to go,” Corben once more kissed the goddess’ hand, but then he hesitated. “I know we’ve only just met, but I find myself wishing I could stay.” The goddess hugged him tightly and then watched him disappear into the river.
She smiled as she lay in her bed that night, drifting off to sleep. It had been a most unusual day.
The next day, at the same time and place, the goddess made sure to be at the river again. She wondered if the man would show. She was about to give up when he appeared again.
“Did you miss me, beautiful?” He kissed her hand gently. She did not want to admit that she actually had, a little. Again, they talked all day. He told her about being a water sprite and how aggravating it was to be on the move all the time. No peace and quiet. The goddess just laughed.
This continued for months. Every day, the goddess would make her way to the river to wait for him to show. And eventually, he always did. They would talk all day without a care in the world. Slowly, the goddess started neglecting the rest of her duties.
After some time, Corben told the goddess that he loved her. She returned his affections tenfold – he was literally the highlight of her existence. That night, he stayed with her later than he ever had. They cuddled together beneath the traces of starlight just awoken in the sky. The goddess kissed him, and the rest of the night was a beautiful ecstasy of love-making. She fell asleep in his arms, but when she awoke late in the morning, he was gone.
She was exhausted, but she stayed by the river waiting for him. At dusk, he visited shortly to kiss her, but then left again. The goddess returned to her chambers to sleep.
With every visit, her affections for him grew. She contemplated moving her castle to be right beside the river, so she would always be nearby, but it would not fit. And it was much cooler higher up.
One day, after fantasizing about the beautiful sprite all day, the stars began to twinkle in the sky and he still had not shown. The goddess did not know what to think. He had been been coming to see her every day for years. She hoped he had not gotten tired of her and retreated to her castle. She could not sleep.
At dawn, she jumped out of bed and ran to the river. Now, she understood why he had not shown. What used to be a reckless, gushing river was now barely a stream. It had become several small puddles. She had been so absorbed in her fantasies that she had not even noticed. She wondered what else she had not seen and realized that there was quite a lot. The entire mountainside was disheveled and overgrown. The paths she had not walked upon in ages were perilous at best. Her beautiful mountain was in complete disarray and her sprite was nowhere to be found.
Another day went by, and the goddess could no longer get out of bed. She was overwhelmed by her sorrows and as she cried, it rained heavily. The entire mountain was a slippery mess for over a week as the goddess could not bring herself to get out of bed. She had failed her mountain, and now her sprite was gone. The tears continued rolling down her face. She could not find the strength to pretend to smile.
After 10 days of pouring rain, the goddess dried her eyes. She did not want to move, but her mountain needed her. Badly. Pretty soon, she would be unable to see outside her window, because the shrubbery had grown so much. Thinking of the river brought more tears and drizzle, so she avoided it as much as she could. She had never felt so abandoned, but walking the mountain gave her a sense of purpose. After two weeks of hard work, it was beginning to look presentable again. The paths were climbable, the trees were strong, everything was flourishing, except for the goddess. She had not even had a chance to say goodbye.
Slowly and carefully, she walked down to the river. Instead of the puddles it had been, it was now a wide, but shallow stream. It was still not as good as it used to be, but it was a start.The goddess kicked off her slippers and strode into the water. The cold hit her like a freight train and helped to clear her mind. A single tear ran down her face. “Goodbye, my love.” she choked out as she stared at her sad reflection.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps in the water. “But I came all this way…”
The goddess shrieked joyously, and ran towards the beautiful sprite. He engulfed her in his arms as tears ran down his face. “I’ve missed you… I’m so, so sorry…” he sputtered.
The goddess apologized as well. She had not been taking care of the mountain, she had been so enraptured in him. It was all her fault, and now she knew better.
“I will never leave you,” he whispered into her ear. “For as long as you want me, I will be here. I love you, Sierra.”
The goddess beamed at him, “I love you, too.”
And they lived happily ever after.