Another moonless night. Too many. It was unnatural. When was the last time she even saw the sun? Was there a sun or had she imagined it? The view before her, an inverted nightmare. The trees glowed a ghostly white, like a night filled with a summer moon, and between them a darkness that seemed to be filled with it’s own light. A brilliance the poor ill bred wretches of flesh would never be blessed to see.
The shortest distance between two points is the line between me and you
The song with no source droned on. Magda worked her way through the forest. They were words she memorized with her childhood friend. What was her name? Lillith, Lani, Cheazra? No not Cheazra. They would sing this song. A tale about a princess searching for her beloved and he her. They giggled and sang as they acted out the parts. Sometimes she would be the prince, sometimes the princess.
always living on as the young
Now the woods whispered it to her. Again and again. The song encouraging her deeper and deeper into the dense black. She remembered the two of them putting the pine needles under their noses to make Mustaches and —Lucia, no, Lora, no, Chappy? No not Chappy— her friend would strut around making a show of being a burly man.
In our love we stay strong.
The ground began to rumble and pollen from the cotton wood started to flutter around her like Glow Bugs. Luminescent in this inverted world. Her friend gave the trees a name Populus deltoides So funny they would call them something other than Trees. Her friend said it was something the people of Landgrave did to identify things as different and in doing so keep them separate. Like how the two of them weren't supposed to play because they were different. Trees, people, what made them different? They grew and they woke and slept. Like all Living things.
There is no space between a bond so true
There, again, the warmth. It had been days, no weeks. The warmth had left. A cold befitting the eternal dark crept in filling all the places the warm should have been. And then a howl. The sound of an animal in so much pain. The pain of the soul rending asunder. She ran. Hoping to help. The noise surrounded her giving her no guide but she followed her heart followed knowing this cry was for her.
The cry chased the song away. It is now silent except for a small beat, more felt than heard.
She finds a clearing. In it, a young man. She pauses to watch. His hair is white, glowing like a moon. In his hands a small stone. Black. Evil. A massless malignant chunk of the world around her. The soul of this dark world. Tears of crystal fall from his eyes to feed the stone. It created the warmth, kept forest alive. Should she make him stop? Would set her free?
She tried to say something but she had no speech. He leaned back opened his mouth and the cry, the one she chased to find this spot, rang out coming from every tree and rock, from the starless sky itself. She needed to end this torture. Her's, his and it was becoming clear the pain of the forest itself. With caution she moves to the man and puts her hand on his shoulder. He tenses but does not move. Gaining a little more resolve she kneels to meet his eyes.
He looks up, eyes slowly focusing on her face. Marks, deep cuts and burns marred a face once soft and fair. Brilliant eyes she knew were of the deepest green shown grey in this land. He looked so much like Lulu, no Chandler…
Magda the wind speaks a name. He lookes so much like her childhood friend. He lifts the rock to her. It was a piece of time. A solid beat. She couldn’t bare the solid chunk of nothing. She put her hand on his to cover the stone. A beat. And for a moment the forest returned to life then was back. She remembered him Luchan. He was her friend. The one that played with her.
They laughed. They grew. They… Loved.
Another beat. Only one more. She knew. She knew how they were forbidden to love. She a creature of the forest. He a creature of blood, a human. Then she saw him fighting to save her. The flames surrounding her. His people attacked him held him down, made him watch.
Again, and the final beat. The stone fades to grey. Her time is up.
She looks at him. Her heart stone, the time keeper of her life. That which makes rhythm is still. His wounds have fed it and now she must go. Leave the stone, it will be the seed.
She wants to tell him that she is gone. That she must return to the flow of the forest. She no longer has voice and the forest begins to fade. The ghostly light of life fading, consumed by the dark of eternity.
Luchan She speaks the name and it's carried on the wind.
His eyes seem to focus. He looks at her, blinks back tears and buries the stone.
From the ground as the last ghost light fades a song emerges
The shortest distance between two points is the line between you and me