A Place in the Forest, Part VI

“I’m ready now,” Ivan said. “I want you to show me today.”

Mava looked up from where she was planted on hands and knees with her nose nearly brushing the moss, studying a pair of tiny snails with rose-pink shells and pearlescent flesh.  Her small horns twitched in Ivan’s direction and he noted that although she looked at him with interest, her third eye lingered on the snails as if they might do something thrilling at any moment and she didn’t want to miss it.  One of the little creatures retracted a miniscule eyestalk, giving the impression of a wink.  Mava grinned, smiling in Ivan’s direction but reacting to the snail.  It was disorienting.

“Mava,” Ivan said reproachfully. “You know I don’t like talking to you when you’re doing something else.”

“I know,” Mava replied dreamily. “But look at them Ivan…don’t they look like me?”

Indulgently, Ivan leaned down closer to the little scene that was playing out in extended time in front of his friend.  He could see what she meant.  The pink hue of the shells was a softer echo of her magenta skin, the sheen of the slimy, gently undulating snail bodies reminiscent of her silvery hair.  The delicate eyestalks mimicked the two fleshy, horn-like appendages she called “nodes” which rose like the fingers of sea anemones from her hairline.  Set against the emerald green of the moss, deep, soft and moist, her rapturous face and the two snails did seem to create a complete triad, perfectly alive.  He looked at the image reflected sparkling in her three eyes and saw with a jolt his own face, appearing somehow alien in its obvious wonder.  The mundane became new, tantalizing, even alarming when he was with Mava; here he was staring wide eyed as if he had never seen a snail before.  Mava shifted her full attention onto him and studied him with exactly the same absorption.  He wished she would come closer, as close as she had been to the moss, until her nose was almost brushing his.  The large pupil of her third eye dilated even further, pulling him in.  He gazed into his own eyes reflecting from the endless pool of black.

“Show you what?” Mava asked.

Ivan blinked and sat up.  The sound of the small waterfall seemed to return to his ears…had he not been hearing it previously?  He felt a sense that a great deal of time had elapsed, but the sun was in the same place in the sky.  Their little forest clearing glistened and breathed, undeniably more alive than it had been before.  One of the blue butterflies that he had come to think of as Mava’s butterflies landed a short distance away from him on a warm rock, fanning its wings meditatively, drinking in the sunshine. “Pey,” Ivan said at last, hearing his voice coming to him from a great distance away. “You said you would explain Pey to me.”

“I thought you had changed your mind,” Mava said.  Ivan heard the soft rustling of her drawing nearer to him.  She settled beside him, directing her gaze where he was looking.  They took in the butterfly together. “But yes,” she added after a few moments. “I’ll show you.” Her arms came around him, slowly, like leaves turning toward light.  Her head nestled against his shoulder.  Ivan breathed deep and slow.  He was distantly aware of feeling profound calm and comfort, which was unusual; to have her so close, touching him like this, would usually send his heartbeat into a frenzy.  He closed his eyes.  The golden syrup of the sun puddled around them, oozing into his skin, his ears, his lungs.  The inside of his eyelids glowed pink.  The color of Mava.

“But Ivan,” Mava said, “there’s something I need to tell you.”

Ivan turned his head and looked down at her.  Her face was so close to his, her impossible yet undeniable face, so foreign and yet now so familiar. “What is it?” he asked.  The same languid peaceful energy circled around them, holding them together.  Her arms on him felt like his arms, her cheek on his shoulder as if it had always been there. “What I show you,” she said.  All three of her eyes seemed to blaze suddenly, the dark ultramarine irises intensifying in color, the threads of them, like branches, like tree roots, roiling. “It might change the way you see me,” she said, her voice falling on his ears like the song of a veery. “It might change…” she hesitated briefly. “It might change the way you feel about me.”

A rush of sensation flooded through Ivan’s body.  He felt her uncertainty, her hope, her vulnerability.  He felt her love.  Everything she felt came into him physically, with a clarity he had never experienced before.  This is what it’s like for her, he thought suddenly, the knowledge arriving with absolute certainty. This is how Mava senses me all the time.  Looking into her eyes, he saw that she was feeling him, feeling her.  Eternity unfolded in Ivan, an endless loop of reciprocity.  He kissed her, and she kissed him back, as if by the magic of their exchange she had absorbed the understanding of how to do so, the awareness of what it signified.

“There is nothing you could show me that would change the way I feel about you Mava,” Ivan promised her.  Mava took note of the sun’s position in the sky. “Then come with me,” she told him, rising to her feet and offering him her hand. “We should leave now if you want to get home before dark.”     

By queenofelves

Writer, artist, and magic-user. Lover of fantasy and romantic poetry. Always exploring!


    1. Hi Francisco, thanks for reading! Yes I’m writing new installments of this story every few days or so as time and inspiration permits. Please do follow me if you want to read more 🙂


  1. As I read I feel as if I have been cast into the roll of Ivan 😌. What began as fantasy is now gripping my mind and imagination as though it were reality. What is this Pey ? ….. I must know 😳 ! But I will patiently wait for the next chapter 🥰


  2. I’m enjoying this series so much, so sad I reached the end for now. But I wanted to say the feelings Ivan experience, the clarity of thought and color. The sense of time being infinite but only a small moment in time. I feel all this when I do mushrooms. So I feel I identify with Ivan a lot. I’ve to think of Mava as his mushroom trip. Lol, I love it.
    Great shorts, always leaving me wanting for more.


    1. Thank you so much for your comment Gabriel! I have definitely drawn inspiration for these stories from my own experiences with psychedelics. They can be such powerful and imaginative teachers and healers. I think you’re going to LOVE where this story is going 🙂


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