This piece contains mature themes, but no actual erotica.
|Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.|
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I knew these woods. Only in recent months had I taken to exploring them from the outside, from the river that traverses them, but never before had I seen, in the deepest and darkest paths, a lithe figure following and watching me.
I can recall countless days commuting down these trails. I can see too many nights I spent sitting in the darkness, at the lowest of my lows, hoping to meet something there that would either end me or inspire me to continue on. Nothing ever found me except one pair of wary, golden, canine eyes.
Not until this night.
It wasn't strictly night yet, for evening was still meandering its way into dusk with no particular rush when I saw a slim body slip between the trees. I was still on my way upstream, paddling like a jogger on a treadmill, warming up for the moment when I knew I would hit my limit.
The woods where I first saw her were still fairly tame, rife with the infections of civilisation that I mostly avoided on the river. But as the trees grew thicker and wilder, she grew bolder. I reached an eddy in the river where I often paused to stretch and catch my breath, and she came out and stood on a small lea before me.
There, the water was mere inches, and I could see clearly patterns in the mud that the current drew, though I know not the depth of the mud. She spun in a shy pirouette as I drifted closer, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she wasn't human.
Her clothing did nothing to conceal her figure, but rather drew the eye to the shape and the mound. she hid her face behind her hands and hair, but her eyes bore into mine with a sense of timeless defiance and weariness, as if the encroachment of humanity had taken more toll on her health than the turning of many, many seasons.
My kayak drifted, slowly closing to land, but still driven by the current. Without my intervention, I knew, in five minutes or so, if I did nothing, I would be pushed back out into the main current of the river, where I would either have to return to my exercise or drift back downstream.
I watched her. She watched me.
Then, with deliberate slowness, I reached for the drybag behind me and pulled out a length of rope.
She drew swirls on my chest as we laid on the soft hillock. My body was spent after she rode me without hesitation, all shyness evaporating as my clothes were shucked from my skin. I wasn't quite sure where my shirt had gotten to, but my pants lay somewhere between me and my kayak, which was anchored to my right ankle.
Fireflies began to dance around us, and she sighed in resignation. I smiled, kissed her nose, and then her lips, one last time in a lingering goodbye, my eyes closing as I let everything but the feeling of her against me go, and when I opened them she was gone.
As beautiful and tender as our short time together was, I knew I would probably never see her or her like again, but that was probably for the best. I sighed, dressed as much as I could, and let the current pull me back downstream.