This is an edit of a story I wrote back in 2010/2011. The original is posted here.
A forest, permeated by a soft mist. Soft rays of light shine through a mixed canopy of conifers and deciduous trees. Ferns grow quietly on the floor, capturing moisture that wipes off on any creature that passes, while beneath the ferns moss is seen slowly crawling up trunks and across logs and stones. A small brook splashes gently through the grass and ferns, in which is concealed a wealth of life. The forest is a canvas of greens, browns, and ever so light shades of blue. The air is still, allowing for the mist to settle in stasis. The only sounds heard are those of the little one, flittering playfully through the peaceful woods. It flies alone, but not in heart. It is keeping company to a quiet being who finds delicate paths through the pristine landscape. Naked in spirit and body, little matters in its life. There are only its senses, fluidly feeding the surroundings to a limitless power, desperately at work.
While the being follows the little one it is not a chase. An infatuation attracts one to the other, one born of dreams and fantasy, of an idealization that is only entirely real in the confines of the beings brow. While the being is enthralled in this ethereal power, its magic and its beauty are not all consuming; curiosity and yearning drive the being forward as well. It is a desire for a soft touch, a sweet song, a fleeting glance, and because of this the being follows the little one. But the little one is youthful and never ceases to move, so the little one is trailed loosely through the woods.
How many moons and how many suns these two must have witnessed. They both seem secure in their footing, their shared knowledge of these woods seemingly infinite. But for all they have in common, the little one is painfully distant to the being. The quiet sadness that emanates from the beings breast quickly makes its way to every limb, seeping into every pore, although the being is too controlled to allow such pain to elicit more than a desiring sigh, no matter how tumultuous the storm within may brew. What holds this storm back is an insurmountable obstacle, a mountain of confusion and circumstance. The being can only wish for an answer or a response, some telltale behavior that will let the rains and winds free.
There is a moment within the calm of the woods where the being stops, gazes quietly as a soft wind wrestles a few leaves loose from their majestic perches, watching them gently glide down towards the moist earth, swaying back and forth through the now dissipating mist. The being then shifts its gaze skyward, its eyes following the rays of light projected through the mist. On high a figure circles patiently, observing, calling. All of the sudden its expanse closes, forming a bullet that begins to plummet, faster and faster. The being freezes, a pounding sensation swelling in its firm cavity. Then with a great swiftness the being takes flight, racing through the forest and silently calling for the little one.
The once serene woods spring to life, lashing out at the being as if to slow it down, as if calling to the being and saying, such is life, take no haste, it will only cause you harm. The slender limbs of the trees whip forward into the being’s path, lashing at its tender flesh. New hues are seen: shades of purple and black, dots and streams of red. But the being pays no attention. It has only one focus, though no amount of racing seems to close the gap. And then there suddenly is a deathly silence. The being stops crisply as the muted air begins to suffocate its senses. Standing tall, the being is no longer aware of anything. There is no straining of senses, simply a dazed state of helplessness.
The being is brought back as the air begins to thin and the soft breeze once again awakens. Before the being can be seen a clearing, its entrance framed by the trunks of two great oaks and around which life begins to stir, picking at the tender soil and playing on the branches. In the field a steady stream of light washes the tall grasses as they sway in the wind. Specks of pollen shower down on the stems and alight on fine razors.
The playing creatures part to form a path as the being slowly steps forward. Stopping at the rim of the field, the wind takes haste and the grasses murmur in protest, their swaying turning to a dance, calm at first, but progressively more frantic. Arms outstretched, they fling themselves in every which direction, then pulse forward, as if beckoning to the being, pleading for salvation. The wind in turn begins to twirl more violently and the stems yell in frustration. The dance, now more chaotic, continues to beckon to the being, still standing firm at the edge of the clearing. So it moves forward, stretching out to caress the hopeless dancers in their now mangled fury.
The wind, sensing its presence, shifts to a mad path of confrontations and racing, tearing the dancers from the earth and flinging them on high. The air is now full of screaming and begging, the lifeless stems catapulted into the obscurity of the surrounding woods. The being knows not what to do, frozen as it is in the center of the clearing, surrounded by the confusion and carnage. Finally, as if frustrated by the beings inaction, the wind in its mighty fury, gathers its strength and plunges headlong into the beings chest, sending its mass straight back to earth.
Then there is only silence.
The warm rays have now dissipated beyond the horizon. The being, still lying, listens as the sounds of the dark work their way through the landscape, not knowing what to do. A memory full of yearning and dreams flashes before its eyes, the little one flittering back and forth, yet there are no tears to shed, though its body begs that they be released. The pain feels insurmountable and the being has no desire to move because of it. But after some time it is no longer possible to simply lie in a state of abjection. It must plant its feet firmly on the ground, hold its brow high. The being arises, carefully dusting its weary limbs and taking the first few steps forward, quietly enveloping its pain in the deepest recesses of its psyche. And with that, its shadow slowly melds into the darkness of the forest.