Okay, so I FINALLY wrote something, after like, forever. Its just a vignette, but I’m rather fond of it.

Digress

By Greer Nelson

I almost wish I had been there to see her face when she found my body; twisting in what must have been an eerie way before the fireplace. But I had since departed, in more ways than one, and found myself alone in that snowy field, the clouds having parted to allow through the light of the moon, little more than the stain of a grin across the sky.

I left no footprints, and so could admire the untouched beauty of the whiteness; in one direction it stretched on forever, seemingly, interrupted only by the slender jut of grey-brown that had been my dwelling place. In the opposite direction the horizon was consumed by a tangle of trees, their branches laid bare by the winter, presenting a foreboding image indeed. Still I trod on forward, unaware of what I might find; not overeager to discover its mysteries, but still curious enough not to merely halt my progress and admire the evening.

When I reached the first of the line of trees I tried to peer beyond them, gazing through the branches into the deep, dark, heart of the wood. Quiet as I, no animal seemed to disturb the silence of the place, nor any stray beam of moonlight. It was not black as pitch, but an even, swallowing grayness that impeded vision just as effectively.

I passed beyond the barky threshold and thus began my journey in earnest. The deep wood enclosed around me, claustrophobic, and almost muggy in quality despite the cold. I wandered deeper, my direction chosen quite arbitrarily; I could have been going in circles for all I knew. Though the trees that pressed around me had no leaves, still they blocked any view of the sky. No mortal could have passed between such tightly growing trunks.

As I continued on my way I reflected on my life; at least, what I assumed was my life. It seemed all oddly detached and dispossessed, like a fleeting glance in a darkened mirror. For all I knew the events I recalled might have been dreams, or nursery rhymes, or the poems of fish.

I had no measure of time, internal of external, but eventually the trees around me began to grow less densely, and the air began to clear. The place was still silent but the grey that enveloped it was less of a smothering cloth. These trees too had buds, green and compact, though in the world I had left spring was far from imminent. I reached up and felt the cool hardness of the birthing greenery. It reassured my touch.

Further still I came to a place where the trees formed a small glade, surrounding with their arcing, leaf bedecked branches a small pool, its surface so still and perfect that it might have been made of glass. I approached it humbly, my eyes deferent to its green and silver sanctity.

I knelt before the pool and glazed into its surface; smug and jewel laden, Narcissus locked his eyes with mine.

There was a breeze in the glade, a subtle but insistent whisper, and I looked up to peer further into the depths of the woods. There was no end, no glimmer of light from beyond the clearing, and I could sense the claustrophobia of the trees returning further on.

From the pool Narcissus beckoned me, his hand glimmering with rubies and gold.

I bent down.

The water was warm and luxuriant, and around me I felt the arms of perfect Narcissus, his heartbeat keeping time with mine.

© Greer Nelson 2006

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