Hi, some of you will have seen the start of this on my Ripples blog, so sorry for any confusion. I realised that what started as a whimsical paragraph might turn into a story, so I'd better house it here instead. So watch THIS space...
WHO'S THAT GIRL:
She keeps to the shadows, hiding from the world she fears, where everything is cold and hard and unfriendly. She is not one particular age, in one light she is a small child, pale and blonde and vibrant, and then the sky clouds over and she is a stormy teen shrouded in black. Sometimes she is in the first blush of adulthood in hippy flounces with beads in her hair. Her form is unimportant, for she is innocence and she is loss, she is the different stages of youth, reflections trapped in time.
He lives in the depths of the forest, in mossy hollows. His roar rumbles from the caverns beneath her. She feels his heavy breath carried on the musty currents of air circulating the trees. She smells his anger and his loneliness. She catches fleeting glimpses of him at the height of the day, when the glades are in their lightest shade of grey. Flashes of white and gold, flourescent against the gloom. When darkness falls it soaks into him as it clings to the trees and the rocks he prowls over. He is the panther in the moonlight and the tiger in the sun's rays. He is the monster born of the fear which binds her.
On the days when the sun is unbearably bright, nagging at the threads of the canopy woven above her, she retreats to the waterfall. She watches through its sheer curtain, a tiny window on her small world. She is safe in the mossy embrace of rocks, flecked with the natural jewels of crystalised sediment. She watches him wandering along the edge of the clear blue water, sniffing the air, catching the scent of his future prey. His piercing eyes scan the forest, scarcely blinking, the calm at the centre of the storm which he will unleash.
As he explores the intriguing scents carried on the breeze he slinks his way through the river. She watches him approaching her and searching for her after he has caught her scent, but she is safe from him behind the shimmering shield of fastly-flowing water. His wet fur congeals on his belly and the spray from the water hitting jutting rocks makes him frequently shake his head. For the briefest of moments after his head is still again his face is soft in confusion, his balance momentarily disorientated. She wants to touch him then, stroke him and reassure him. He is her monster after all.
As he retreats she begins to feel her breath again. He is mesmerising in his intense concentration on her and she is electrified by his presence. Although they never touch she feels a deep connection. She fears him and his wild ways, but she also feels a comfort in knowing he is near. But not too near. When he is gone she leaves her icy cage, slowly walking through the pounding water, letting it rush over her, cleansing her senses and injecting its vitality. He watches, hidden in the trees, as the fall of the water is broken and his irredescent goddess appears, glistening and pure, as if made from the water itself.
She is above nature and beyond beauty as her form lights up the gloom, her skin glowing with cascading diamonds. He sees her connection to the water. He often sees her face screaming from beneath its surface. But when he dips in his paw to reach her, she is gone, and she doesn't return when the ripples disperse. These are merely ghosts of her thoughts, images of her fears, shed like a snake's skin left to float, unresolved. He wants to help her, but she eludes him, and he can never touch her. He doesn't realise this nymph-like creature is the quarry that he languidly hunts, because under the water she has no scent.
(to be continued)