LIGHT IN THE DARK
From the azure pool she surfaced, a slick trail of intention born of tact waters. Afternoon sun still shone in a checked blaze of silently encroaching heat. Eva closed her eyes, felt them water at the mercy of the solar rays’ intensity: a forced emotion. However deep her thoughts sank into the depths of her aloof dreams, a bodily impulse, begging for air, drove her to the surface again. As if knowledge and wonder led her to a timely death, and animal instinct, be it the pains of hunger, hot desire, a stray hair or two, kept life beating. Rap a tap, rick a ra ta rap a tap… secret music in the foliage, in incantation luring her from her wisdom pool and into the cool haze of forest. A different kind of darkness. A search, a collection of trunks and hidden treasures.
Another fathomless dream of unknown depths. Before entering, Eva was struck by Aiken’s stern voice.
“C’mon back to Earth, kid. There are snakes and tigers ready for a meal about now in there.”
Eva resisted the beckoning of jungle friends and recognized her empty stomach.
He noticed her eyes narrow.
“Do you ever consider the light held within darkness?” She implored with full, provocative eyes, too teeming with temptation for him to process her design.
In another dimension, the same eyes melted an ignorant, innocent will, and dropping the forbidden, bitten truth, hand-in-hand the damned braved the unforgiving jungle.
“I think all that pond water’s gone to your brain,” he gulped, trying to ignore the sudden glisten of her wet skin. It was the same old story, the foolish maiden stepping into danger, the scolding man, fearful of an angry god.
Flashing an enchanted smile, Eva squeezed the remaining water from her hair and headed towards the valley, still full of late, dying light, dancing in its final moments. Butterflies, full of a day’s profit, floated idly, catching a breeze that wafted through the blades of grass. Distracted for a moment, Eva’s eyes followed the swaying landscape, from the swirling field to the scattered clouds and speckled points of faint, newborn stars. Five light years away, one speckle burst into a rapture of heat, a light display that Eva would glimpse years later and perceive as an omen that she did not belong in the arms that beckoned her.
After several minutes of relative silence, full of physical awareness and hesitant stimulation, Eva thought aloud:
“Isn’t it curious how we all possess fear of the darkness, how we head into fields of light as a swarm of flying insects, moths drawn to a flame. And the tigers are drawn into darkness, creatures and mates of the night. Can we not coexist?”
Aiken refrained from saying anything immediately, mostly because he had nothing to say that he knew would satisfy her curiosity.
“We are all fit to live as we are, it is just the way we all must survive.”
“But what if we are not… what if someone is different?”
“They either change, adapt, or don’t quite make it.”
“In this world.”
“This is the world.”
Eva stopped, instantaneously simmering with anger. Aiken sensed her annoyance filling the chasm where their timid attraction once dwelled. It was true, Eva encountered Aiken in her dreams from time to time, but there was the slight caution, the difference, no matter how deep she sank into her dream pool. She yearned to flee, to run off into the woods, but somewhere in this scheme she lost sight of Aiken, and he found himself a different kind of happiness, in the sunlight.
“I think I left something, I’ll catch up with you.” So she fled, and stood again aside an Oak, sprawling towards the sky. Trees are not unlike humans. In fact, they are similar, even in their stoicism. Kin, just kind of quiet. Unless one listens…