A Place in the Forest, Part VII

“Mava,” Ivan called. “Are you sure about this?”

Mava turned and looked back at him.  The light coming from him was green but it seemed to be filtered, as if it was passing through a thick fog.  His expression was earnest, open, holding nothing back.  Even had she not been able to sense his emotion, she would’ve read his face as clearly as the late afternoon sky which spread with guileless abandon above the trees. “There’s nothing to fear,” she told him, smiling.

“But you said it was taboo,” Ivan reminded her as he drew level with her.  She was a step above him on the rocky incline, a trail worn through the forest by her footsteps alone.  But alone no longer.  The thought drew her third eye down to his boots, planted firmly on the stone yet separating him from it. Simultaneously her twin eyes lingered on his face, which was glowing from the mild exertion and too caught up in the adventure to shield itself from her the way it often did.  She watched him become unnerved by the division in her focus, and remembered to bring her third eye back into focus with the others, meeting his gaze. “When we first met,” Ivan went on.  A pulse of blue light surged out of him. “You said it was forbidden.”

Mava thought about that.  She could feel the growing excitement of the others as she guided Ivan closer to the grove.  “Well, it’s true,” she told him eventually, studying his shining face. “But we can’t remember why.”

“But still,” Ivan said insistently. “Won’t your parents be angry?”

“Parents,” Mava repeated dreamily.  Overcome with tenderness for her friend, she placed a hand softly on his cheek.  “You mean the humans that made you.” 

Ivan flushed and looked down briefly. “Well, won’t they?” he asked.

Mava thought about how to reply.  She sensed his anxiety mounting the longer she was silent, but she felt comfortably distant from her friend, already home.  She watched him through the long channel of a dream. “We want to bring you,” she said at last, the voice of the others echoing in her chest. “We want you to know about Pey, and the grove, and us.  About me,” she amended, blinking, her awareness centering on her palm against his cheek, present, alive.  His brown skin was wholly surreal beneath her fuschia fingers, so alien and yet so beloved, so familiar.  It was strange to be in two places at once.  He was waiting, dissatisfied. “Ivan,” Mava ventured, and paused.  It was overwhelming, the fear she could feel in revealing herself to him.  Tell him how it is, Mava felt them all urging her. Tell him we love him.

“Mava,” Ivan said, tilting his head back to look more squarely at her.   She felt her eyes travel irresistibly down to his throat, followed by her hand.  She felt his pulse.  He shivered.  His light became the fierce orange that no longer disturbed her.  He reached out and placed a hand on her hip and she felt the light enter her, this magic of his that even he did not fully comprehend, the new knowing of herself as an animal body–and the unknowing it signified.  It traveled up and through her, filling her chest, pouring from her mouth in a long breath.  A breeze opened the trees so a column of sun could slant heavily over the two of them.  She had to close her eyes.  When she opened them again he was staring at her with naked intensity, sparkling, reminding her of a mountain lion she had once seen noticing her, reacting to her movement with hunger, with instinct, but the overriding awareness that she was not prey.  

“We don’t have parents,” she told him. “Not the way humans do.  We come from Pey.”

She watched him puzzle this out, his brow furrowing, eyes searching the underbrush. “You mean it’s more…communal?” he inquired. “Everybody raises the children together, that kind of thing?”  

Mava couldn’t suppress a laugh.  “No,” she replied. “That’s not what I mean.”

Bring him, they urged. It will be easier if we show him.

“It will be easier if we show you,” Mava chorused.  The break in the trees closed again, the sun sifted away.  The fog seemed to swallow Ivan again, muting his light, pulling him back from her. “But what about you, Ivan?” Mava asked gently. “Are you sure about this?”  She gazed around at the trees, the rocks, the path extending in both directions. “We could go back to our clearing,” she said.

Ivan blinked. “Our clearing,” he murmured.  He reached up and took her hand from his neck and placed it instead over his heart, thudding against her, vibrating into her. “I want to go on,” he said, and blushed. “I want to…know you.”

A pair of finches darted suddenly from a tree overhead, singing explosively.  Mava and Ivan both looked upward, into the tangle of branches. “Then onward we go,” Mava whispered, and smiled.     

By queenofelves

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


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: