“Alright and… we are all set! Thank you for your purchase Monsieur.” With a graceful smile, Madeline’s charming and naturally raspy voice penetrated the air, her pure blue gaze that was slightly tainted with the colour of grey smoke close her pupil and scattered throughout the rest of her iris, stayed glued to the table monitoring the transaction and waiting for the receipt to print. “So now that this is done…” the man who had just purchased hers fathers painting began to speak “… maybe we can go out for a drink or something.” He offered as he approached her. Madeline was, special, different from most ladies, she had the innate ability of avoiding people, being anti-social, and physically distancing herself from people with out then getting offended. So as he stepped towards her, she stepped away in such a way he did not even catch on to the fact that she was putting space between them both.
“I..” I ripped the receipt from the attachable printer on my tablet and handed it to him “… am too young to drink Monsieur but thank you for the offer.” I offered him a smile with my lie because I was in fact older than him by at the very least a hundred years. ‘Tea, or coffee then’ He insisted but I just shook my head gently “I do apologize Monsieur but I am here for business not pleasure; I do not fraternize with my father's buyers.” I locked eyes with him at last and though I could see his disappointment I could also see his understanding ‘So what do you plan to do here during your free time?’ I looked around the art studio I had rented for my time here thinking, debating on if I should share. “I thought I might explore Thistlemoon Forest.” I glanced to him from the corner of my eyes a faint smirk growing on my lips as he just seemed to deflate ‘No one dares go in there unless they want to get sick.’ And that was exactly why I was going.
There was a spark in her eyes that seemed to catch the mans attention for moment and mesmerize him as she closed her eyes and let a very faint laugh escape her lips. He cautioned, begged and pleaded with her not to go, telling her all the tales of the people in the past who ventured out and came back all the more worse for wear. Though she listened, or entertained his words really her heart was set, it had been for many years now, so with grace she walked him to the door “Your concern is truly endearing Monsieur but I have to go.”She said before bidding him adieu and shutting the door behind him. It took hours to get from the studio to the forest but she still had the whole rest of the day as she had met with the man at dawn, just as the sun was rising. So now she stood at the threshold of the forest clutching a mason jar to her belly as she stared in before at last trekking in.
It was beautiful here, hard not to stop every few steps, close my eyes and just take in the sounds and smells, and cool summer breeze that passed by ever so often. It was peaceful here for me, which for me was an enigma as I was the peace for everything and one else. It was nice to find my own form of peace; I took a deep breath at that thought, a breath I never thought I would be able to take. For the first time in my life I felt free of the chaos I called a life. But, I was here for purpose and I would not let myself fully enjoy the forest until I was successful in said purpose. I peered into the mason jar I had been holding to my belly, gazed at the flower floating atop the water I had inside with it, letting my eyes trial down to the vine like roots that grew beneath the water. I got this flower from my father the day of my birth; he plucked it right from these woods. For decades I watched as it adapted to its different environments much like myself but now it was time to return it home, because every living thing deserves a home, deserves freedom.
She wandered around for a long while, only stopping to compare her flower to others, realizing she was taking a risk here as her flower was a century and just a few years shy of two decades old as here plant was just a bud when her father gave it to her, much like her herself. She often wondered throughout the years on whether these flowers still grew or if they did and she made it here if she would find this flowers family. She often tried to recall what her father had told he of this place, hoping that somewhere hidden in his vivid description of Thistlemoons beauty hid a clue as to where this flower belonged. Yet, the hours passed and the sun reached its highest point and her search had come to no avail. She let a breath vibrate passed her lips as she sat down at a pond she had stumbled upon, sitting right in the suns rays that peeked through the trees above. She held the jar to her lips, silently praying, hoping she would find where her flower belonged, promising herself that she would return whenever she had the chance to return it if she had to.
I set the jar down before I nervously began to play with the necklace I wore taking the rings that hung from the rawhide string and gently brushing them against my lips. I soon caught myself in this act and dropped the rings, letting them fall back to the hang round my neck, it was just a old habit I had, one I mostly never caught or realized I did. I stared out at the water, taking in the beauty of the water glistening in the sun. At that moment I forwarded my brow as I caught a glimpse of something near the water’s edge, slowly rising and approaching and squaring down above it to get a better look. I could not help the buoyant laughter that fluttered out of me. I rose and trotted back to my mason jar only to return to the spit by the pond seconds later, quickly opening my jar and gently removing the flower. I knelt down and held my flower in my hand comparing it to the flowers at the water’s edge “I found them…” I stated to myself in pride but mostly relief in disbelief, carefully I dug in the moist dirt a hole big and vast enough for the roots of the flower that had grown with me. Planting it, returning it home as I now patted the dirt back on top of it.
She stared at the flower for a moment before she felt the shift in the forest, like something, had been restored like life had in some way returned to the already lively forest. She knew Love and Life would one day be her duty to uphold and restore so she adored this feeling, the feeling of all being right within the woods. Death and hate? Well, though those would someday be her duty as well she did not know that, nor would she accept it. In fact, she would hate having to be a reaper or provoking someone to hate so much they scream or cry or do anything to get the feeling out. Her father saw that darkness, but it was not his place to tell her and neither of them knew that it would take her mother nearly killing her to wake the angelic genes in her up fully. As far as she knew anyway her mother was dead, murdered the day she was born so, for now, she was kept in the dark about her future and what she would become, what her mother would be revived as.
I closed my eyes to the feeling of this new found life around me and could not help but literally backflip, allowing myself to just plop back onto the grass beneath as I landed. I took in a deep breath of relief letting my eyes close once again, this time actually letting myself enjoy the forest. I enjoyed the breeze, the sun peeking down in streams on my skin, the wildlife I could hear running and flying all around, the sound of the water turning in the wind. That is when it hit me, my fatigue, my body suddenly realized I had been running and moving for decades and never truly got a moment to just unwind. I could eel my eyelids grow heavy even while they were closed, and how my body melted into the grass beneath me. I wish I could stay here forever in this moment but, I had some much to do and I should probably start my long drive back to the city. I opened my eyes with that thought and sat up with a burdened breath only to stop short so I would not bump heads with who was now right in front of me.
She swallowed hard as she came face to face with the King of the forest unbeknownst to that fact of course. Their faces so close to each other that her nose gently brushed against his as her eyes that showed the perfect balance of life and death living in harmony within her stared into his bright blue ones before she moved back. She forwarded her brow and blinked a few times while letting a sharp breath from her nose wondering if she had in fact fallen asleep and he was just apart of some odd dream, soon coming to realize she was in fact awake. A swirl of questions flooded her mind suddenly because she knew that no human could enter this forest unless they were like her or something even greater. She admired him or rather studied him for a second something telling her that somehow he belonged here and suddenly she swallowed hard again because now she felt as though she were trespassing. She opened her mouth to speak *Uhm…” she closed it again for a moment as nothing really came to her mind. “… Hello!?” she, at last, managed to say not wanting to be awkward or rude by just getting up and walking away.