This week’s microfiction from Mastodon, all in one cozy update!
THE OCEAN AND THE SUN
She was drawn by light rippling on the water’s surface.
She breached slowly, a creature of scales and slime, with oil-pool eyes and hair of curling tentacles.
There, a woman of flame hovered. The water below her kicked and steamed, and her fire was a gentle roar.
Their eyes met. Slowly, they reached for each other, only to pull away in a hiss of flame and burning scales.
Each day, they met again. To look, to talk, but never to touch.
Something drew him into the forest. His hands trailed on the peeling bark as he shuffled across a blanket of fallen leaves.
He’d tread this dirt many times, but this time it felt different. The forest was alive around him; creatures skittered at his feet, gleaming carapaces and wings darted in and out of his vision.
And always, out of the corner of his eye: the flash of white. The dark, watching eyes.
When at last he stumbled into its clearing, he took in the velvety antlers and the pearlescent coat.
‘What are you?’ He asked the stag.
–Something different– it replied. –But so, perhaps, are you. Do you come to hunt? —
He saw that its antler prongs were blood-black. ‘No.’
–Do you come to conquer?–
The stag lowered its head. One leg lifted in a bow. –Then come. Care to ride?–
NEVER FORGET THE WATER
‘Come.’ His smile was a silver slash under the night sky.
She backed away. ‘You mean to drown me.’
‘How can you be sure?’
‘I’ve met you before.’ Her hands clenched. ‘I’ll never forget the water.’
‘Do I not look different now?’
‘Maybe you are. But I’m different, too.’ She raised her chin.
He laughed and sprang to the river in a swirl of shadow. But what plunged was a horse with bloody hooves and seaweed mane.
She walked away and didn’t look back.
Image by Free-Photos, used under CC0