She walked quietly across the rolling valley, the tall lavender flowers brushed against her hips and the sweet wheat grass swayed in the warm summer breeze. Grabbing the bottom of her dress, she extended her small frame forward heading towards the small river at the edge of the property. Her dogs chased each other playfully nipping at the others tail but always keeping a healthy distance between themselves and their owner. Laughing softly, she shook her head. “You would think they’re my owners and not the other way around.” Luna, the oldest of the two twin dogs, shot up her dark black head and ran towards her. Luna was a deep midnight with cool silver eyes highlighting her wolf-like features. When Lysha first named the beautiful dog the breeder had said gently “ Ah, this is a destined union between the three of you. A love like the moon.” Luna, now three years old, fully grown and still as mischievous as ever, fell into the woman’s side causing her to misstep and burst into a fit of giggles. “Luna!” Lysha exclaimed and watched as the dog quickly ran towards her brother looking back to tell her owner “hurry up already.” She didn’t expect to be laughing so freely so quickly but Lysha couldn’t help it. She picked up her dress and ran towards her dogs passing them in a swift motion. Keeping pace with Lysha’s footsteps, Luna perked her ears and lifted her face. Luna’s twin brother Solie followed closely behind. They crashed onto Lysha and began licking her face vigorously causing their owner to scream with laughter. Lysha patted the dog’s soft head, and pushed herself to her feet. Grabbing her basket, she wiped all the slobber from her face and kept on towards the river.
The cream-colored linen dress she’d worn was light and almost translucent but there were no neighbors for miles. Most people kept their distance from her villa and the surrounding property. The rumors that Lysha was “una fata” a fairy in Italian, made trips to the market an event and filled usually silent days with lingering stares and clicking tongues. Her long dark wavy black hair did give her an almost otherworldly air and her smooth mahogany brown skin seemed to give off a strange luminous glow. She had had people come up to her touching her soft glowy skin hearing them inhale sharply at how cool and soft her body was. She never knew why her hands, no matter what season, seemed constantly cold.
Similar to her grandmother born in Mali who had blue metallic eyes and reddish-brown skin that glowed against her long gray hair. Her grandmother had been a village healer and was said to make love potions and speak to the ancestors who lived in the stars. Growing up between Mali and her father’s home in Haiti Lysha had a lineage of ancestral magic. She had always listened but still could never understand why she had never been allowed to cut her hair but she had kept her grandmothers’ words. “Hair connects you to the voices in the ground and the eyes in the stars. Keep your connection strong like your blood and you will always be protected. I named you Lysha which means happiness. You are our greatest joy.” She could hear her grandmother’s warm voice reverberating through her head and gently stroked her dark curls, “where is my protection now?” she thought and dropped her long locks moving quicker to reach her goal. Today’s events will pass just like every other hard day in her life, she will survive it. Years of being on her own had made her once sensitive heart thicker and much more resilient to criticism and disappointment.
The river lay between a small forest with tall pine trees on either side. “Una fata nella foresta.” she laughed to herself as she stepped between two giant trees and moved to the edge of the river. Grabbing her blanket from her wicker basket she fanned out a small turquoise sheet upon the face of the shoreline. Looking around she found small smooth rocks near the river bank and placed them on the corners of the sheet. Lysha looked over and saw the two huskies playing in the shallow waters, their contrasting coats shining in the warm spring sun. This life, although quiet, was her own and she sighed and thought back to the events that led her here.