Not so Simple
Dark of middle forest. Man approaches, limping. Leans on tree.
Bleached leopard crouches in limbs above. Shoulders pump, readying for pounce.
Thump. Man howls, grapples at muscle of albino snake cinching. Python purrs. Pulls tighter.
Loosens. Snow hare twists to avoid slice, bounding to ground. Man brandishes blade, menacing glint of steel.
Rabbit rears up, thunderous roar, white bear looms over bent man.
Straightening man. Sneering man.
“Come, wench, you’re wanted.”
Muzzle contorts into impossible, “No.”
Paws fold into wings, into claws, into fingers.
Man cups fluttering gently, endures scratches calmly, links fingers fondly.
“I must insist.” Wraps pale shoulders with soft stoat cloak, not letting go.
“I must insist.” Delicate chin lifts, woman plants bare feet firm, unwilling to go.
“You are wanted.”
“But I don’t want that. You of all people know.”
Pained pause, double-sided.
Pained look, “In you I confided…”
“Yes,” eyes narrow, voice dipping to whisper. “Enough.”
Iridescent smoke wisps up. Woosh. Hazy hint of smile.
Long pipe, quick inhale. Quick tilt. Quick topple into green moss, eyes rolling back, nearly forgetting. Padding down tunic for tube.
Quick, Man. Blow her inside.
Tiny fists pounding.
Apology unheard through thickness of glass. Thickness of apology unheard.
Man withdraws from dark forest, no longer limping. All farcical. Pats pocket, grim half-smile.
But it’s never so simple, or easy, as that.
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