Jan. 21, 2016
(The challenge was to write a first person narrative but only use “I” twice.)
Darkness seeped into the trees, like a napkin sopping up ink, filling up the world from the ground up. Pines stood black against a glowing twilight sky. Traces of the sun's presence lingered still, clinging to clouds and turning them pink, but it was dark enough that I could slip out of the hill. The music drifted on the wind from far below the earth, and the sound of hundreds of feet dancing to the strange rhythms could be faintly heard - far away.
The moon was low over the trees, and threw its silvery light as far as it could. Where it landed, it outlined the dark trees and made them look for all the world like black cutouts against the sky. The stars danced their way across the horizon, laughing as they twirled hearing music that mortals don't comprehend.
Jake was there, covered in moonlight and smelling of earth, warmth and life. His eyes were closed and he slept – dreaming of cold lips, cold skin, and shimmering translucent wings. He was still wearing his work clothes. His work boots were crusted in cement and the gray dust had caked into the crevices of his hands and under his nails. He worked with concrete. Making the little buildings that humans liked to make. Paving paths. Pouring the mud and letting them bake like cakes in the sun until they are something new and durable. Or at least as durable as humans can make things.
Human things are terribly easy to break. Everything about them is soft and yielding. With nothing else, water can warp their roads that wend this way and that. Frost pushes them up and collapses them down. Add a seed and the trees would crumble their works like paper. So fragile. More delicate that a spider's web rimed in frost or spun crystal.
And they thought so much of them too. He could talk for hours about the precision that went in to some of the larger buildings that cut like knives into the sky. Jake didn’t want to simply pour the concrete, he had dreams of drawing up the plans and resurfacing the world with his visions. Jagged glass and smooth stone glittered in his mind – far more beautiful than the rugged outlines of a raw earth. Precise lines and measured steps were the dance he enjoyed. Music that was mathematically sound was all his ears could hear.
It was adorable.
The first night he came to the clearing he had been drunk and lost his way. I may have helped him become lost. Oops.
Fey lights should never be followed – humans used to know such things and beware – well, never too aware. He strayed from the path and has remained lost ever since. Though he thinks he knows the way. He even thinks he’s returned home. Returned to his wife and two little children and their warm blood and warm kisses. But those were dreams he would have in the light of the day. Warm dreams for warm blood. But they haven’t seen their father in some time. The count of human days makes little sense. Sun. Moon. Stars. They all dance on.
Sometimes folk call his name and he turns his head as if to answer. But his eyes never quite open, and the music from the hall deep in the earth picks up its crooked tune. He reclines in the grass, content to be fed dew and cobwebs. And he will never leave until the dream is done. And fey dream for a long time.