I took one step closer—reached my hand toward her—her eyes lifted. Her etched cheeks wet with freshly spoken tears. I stood frozen—my love was not dancing, but writhing in pain! I had not stumbled upon a celebration of life, but a procession of death...
Strolling through the deep wood, a heady scent drew me to twist from my usual path. A single note carried by the soft breeze led me spellbound to a heavy bouquet of arbor musk and sweet grass. It lured me into an open grove of ancient trees laden with spring. It was there that I found her—dancing beneath the canopy—a creature unlike I had ever seen.
Her skin glowed with tiny, pearl scales—her large translucent wings, softly stirring the air and billowing her scent toward me. The rays of light filtering through the tender, green leaves spotted her with golden halos like that of a leopard. Her fingers like spindles, her legs like vines that climbed up to the heavens—and her heaven. Her head was bare and graced with the exquisite shape of an Egyptian queen. Her mouth, but a sliver—her nose almost extinct—which all the more dove me deeper into her eyes.
She engulfed me entirely.
Like a maestro, she conducted the wind and cast earthen shadows that danced alongside her. The pollen of the forest fell all around. Celebrating life—the herald of spring—a conductress of the forest. The more I witnessed the more my heart swelled—feeling a love it had never felt. Through her, I felt one with heaven. My loins begged for her! I wanted nothing more than to feel her undulating form beneath my own—to fill myself inside her—to share with her the forest, life, love, and eternity.
I took one step closer—reached my hand toward her—her eyes lifted. Her etched cheeks wet with freshly spoken tears. I stood frozen—my love was not dancing, but writhing in pain! I had not stumbled upon a celebration of life, but a procession of death.
Her face told of agony and my closeness sent her shaking all the more. She looked at me in fear—my heart ripped open—I did not draw nearer. The pollen falling around her was not of heavy-laden primrose and birch brought by a gentle breeze, but fell from her. My love was turning into dust—spilling into fragments upon the forest floor.
I could only watch her wings crumble—her body wither. Her lovely, iridescent scales falling in shudders of ash. My heart pierced! The tears in our eyes were mirrors—hers crimson—mine the color of a heaven I would never know. She moved listlessly—her dainty fingers dwindled—her lovely head wasted away. My love—a wavering wisp, a dying flame—and when the last breath of her fell to the forest floor and she became dust at my feet, I broke my stance, sputtered to her, and dropped to my knees.
I gently traced her ashes and cupped them in my hands—brought her to my face and to my lips. The breeze lifted her gently from my quaking fingers, and as before, her dance surrounded me. I lifted her toward the halos of light—offered her to the forest—to the breeze that carried her and shrouded the forest with her dance. The leaves inhaled her, the petals, the moss, the dew. I could no longer see her, yet she surrounded me. In the songbird, in the trees. She became the forest and the river that filled my heart completely.
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