Back home, people know who I am. They respect, maybe even fear me. But I'm in a new city now, and the man who just approached me late at night has no clue what he's up against.
It's always amusing, that moment when they start doubting their sanity. Even more entertaining is the instant when that disbelief turns to terror. I look forward to it as I size the man up, certain he's going to provoke me.
Yes, I could just turn into a tree and repel unwanted attentions that way, but where's the fun in that? My dryad father gave me the ability to sprout bark, but thanks to my human mother, I'm not immobilized by the transformation.
The man approaching me sees only a young woman, about twenty years old and a hundred twenty pounds. “You don't have to be scared, baby girl.”
I smile, confident that despite his creepy leer, he's no threat. He stinks of alcohol, and his eyes have the unfocused quality you see in people who are high. Like I said, no threat at all.
If he just wants to flirt, I'll let him go. But he responds to me saying I'm in a rush by blocking my way and creeping closer. Close enough I get a good view of his teeth. He needs to visit the dentist more often.
“You don't want to talk?” he asks. “We don't have to talk.”
“I don't want to do anything with you,” I say, just to be clear.
At this point, he still has a chance to back off and survive our encounter. But he elects to reach out and grab my arm. Bad choice.
I transform my arm, making him drop it in surprise. I grin as I feel my hair turn to branches, knowing my eyes have started to glow with magic.
The man curses. “I'm sorry! I didn't mean anything! I was just being friendly!”
He back peddles as I laugh.
His eyes widen in shock as I place my hands on the sidewalk and send roots to grab his feet.
“I'm sorry!” he says again.