Rain gels gently into soil and lifeless leaves that have caked into the richness of the ground. From the ground dew drifts slowly upward, in between and above every inch of a forest. A forest left intact from alteration and infestation from human’s blinded by greed and thirst for tainted greenery.
Trees of all shapes and sizes do not dance, nor do they whisper words of warning. Stillness seeps into the clear sky. Crows, geese, hawks, falcons and eagles all hover harmoniously in pairs. No destination is clear but the air gliding underneath their wings waft clarity and serenity into their beaks.
The earth swollen by water oozes over the dead leaves as a couple walks through the forest. Each step suctions, sloshes and pops out of the ground as they strut happily. One of them, being a man, had a weathered yet peaceful face. Wrinkles creep from the outer corner of his hazelnut eyes and fade closely to his temples. Freckles fading into his fair yet olive toned skin. A wondrous and loving smile never leaves the site of his joyful loyal life partner. Her pinkish white skin glistens as beads of rain stick to her like honey. Asymmetric features from her face glisten naturally without sunshine. Eyes the color of a blue pastel and a small mole on her upper lip twinkles as water droplets roll down onto her jacket.
Their words and laughter emit sweetness the likes of pancakes married with vanilla and rich maple syrup. No umbrellas, no shelter and no strangers are present. Their time and presents for each other isn’t shared with these distractions.
The rain slows down to a trickle. Their hands, as soaked and wrinkled as they are, have not lost their warmth. Fingers interlocked tighter than a fishing knot maintain a healthy color not disturbed by the brisk air.
Sounds of the earth’s texture transforms from a less drenched weight into a lighter splashy feel underneath the souls of their feet. Their paces quickens a little bit as the trees inch towards one another.
Dim light peers in between the trees as the couple walks happily in silence. Their hearts beat to the rhythm of the thunder. Not afraid of the sky’s grumble and gray skin, they press on.
“Honey, why do you love me?” asked the wife.
“Is this a trap?” asked the husband.
“It is if you don’t answer.” She said.
He scoff and says: “Fair enough.”
He remains silent for a moment.
“Well?” she asked breaking his silence.
“Well think faster sweetie.”
“I love you because if you went to the Promised Oasis, I’d be in agony until I could be with you there.”
She sighs softly and pulls him in for a passionate kiss.
The path narrows a little more and the light has become a navy blue shadow cascading over the sky. The rain has ceased and the ground has become dry. The dead leaves decay and crack as they walk farther and deeper into the forest. Hickory smoke fills the air and the trees turn black.
“Your turn.” Said the husband.
“My turn for what?” she asked.
“Why do you love me?”
“I always tell you why I love you.” She answered with a more firm tone.
“Well tell me again, I mean you are more poetic than I am.”
“Ok sweetie. I love you because you show love better than any man I’ve ever met. You always fight for me and our children’s happiness.”
The sweetness of this precious moment is contrasted by bitterness like a grapefruit. Like a nightmare come to life, the forest has caught fire and ground has become drier than dust.
They look around franticly as if surrounded by a hungry pack of wolves who haven’t eaten in days.
“What do we do?” asked the wife.
“I don’t know!” exclaimed the husband.
The flames lick the trees bark and limbs as they reach for the sky. The fire closes in on them little by little as they hug each other tightly. Their skin turns red and blisters as red twigs kiss the backs of their necks and wrist.
Tears roll down their cheeks as their loving embrace trembles their bodies. Branches fall down around them. Their chins tuck in and foreheads press together. Like a ballerina about to end her performance with one last pose, their heads tilt up till their eyes meet one last time before the most flame engulfed trees crushes them.
A year later
The sky is more clear and blue than an untainted ocean. No clouds, plains or disruptions dare paint a stroke of darkness. Birds chirp and sing sweetly from trees, shrubs and park benches. A soft wind fluffs the freshly cut grass that surrounds every tombstone at a cemetery that rest quietly in open land.
Two eagles glide underneath the sign of the entrance of this cemetery which reads Amans Cemetery. They fly over to two particular tombstones and begin to circle a few feet above them.
In between these two tombstones is a bird’s nest made of little branches, soil, wheat and dry leaves. Inside are what looks like two cracked falcon eggs. One with a deep overall red and the other creamy white with deep red blotches. The Eyasses that hatched each sit on the tombstones that cuddled their nest.
On the left tombstone it read James Henderson 1956 – 2017. The other read Alysse Henderson 1960- 2017. Unlike the other tombstones, roots and burned bark was embedded into them. Ashes powdered on top dust off as the Eyasses take flight and go off in the distance side by side.
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