In comes the dawn, new beginings #writephoto


This is part two of a fictional tale about fairies, love and death… (for the first part, click here.)

 

The full moon was waning, and that meant a sacrifice needed to be made soon. But Tara and Sam continued to lay naked, wrapped in each others arms. For the first time in decades, they tried to ignore the harvest moon’s demand for blood. For the first time, they questioned the law of their kind.

They both stared at the moon, silently pleading for it to give them another choice. As forest fairies, there was one night, and one night only where they had to spill blood. Human blood was preferred over killing a fellow forest fairy, but either way, the harvest moon’s demand had to be filled. And tonight was that night. Yet, neither of them moved, unifying their protest.

Though they had just met earlier that day, and both had the original intention of killing each other, their feelings had changed. Their meeting had sparked something inside them. It had created a desire, laughter and hope they had not known. It was also the first time they had both met another forest fairy. Their kind had dramatically dwindled over the past century and they understood why. Fairies were generally kindhearted spirits. And many over the years, died from that fault. Some refused the adult law of the annual sacrifice, and became sacrifices themselves. Others were hunted, captured and tested on by the government in earlier years. Forced into hiding, these magical fairies slowly became  folklore and myths, and simply just started to disappear. But they were indeed real, and here two lay, denying the annual sacrifice and risking their own survival.

“We are running out of time,” whispered Tara.

“I know. I just keep thinking that there has to be another way.”

“Me too.”

They both continued to lay there silently. Time they didn’t have ticked away.

Sam broke the silence. “Let’s get up before we run out of time. Let’s go hunt, together. For another option.”

“Yes. Perhaps the harvest moon will provide,” replied Tara.

“If it wants us to exist, I hope it does–and soon.”

With that, Tara and Sam got dressed and left the comfort of the waterfall and headed North. They moved through the woods quickly and quietly with Tara in the lead. Though Sam was a natural in the woods, like all forest fairies, this forest was Tara’s home and had been for nearly 100 years. She knew it intimately and headed towards the outskirts of the small desolate town. For over a mile, they moved in silence, neither wanting to acknowledge the lack of time they both had.

Then, suddenly Tara stopped. Sam watched her silently and then heard it too. Screams to the West. Horrible screams. Without a word, Tara took off running towards the distant sound. Sam followed her without question and wondered, Maybe the moon is giving us another option?

As they neared the source of cries, they slowed down trying to determine the situation. Together, two people who had prepared on killing someone in sacrifice before the night was over, stood frozen in horror at the scene they had just run to. At least when they had to kill, they did it quickly and humanly. This scene was just brutal.

There, in the middle of the woods, was a crazed man attacking a woman. She was on her stomach, desperately trying to crawl. Clinging to roots and grasping at the ground, she tried to distance herself from him. But his knife found the flesh of her back and, from the amount of blood covering her, several other places on her body.

Sam lunged forward, “This is our second chance. I’ll take him. You get her.”

Tara ran towards the blood with Sam. When he got close to man he grabbed the knife from his hand, throwing it into the brush. Then, he pounced on the attacker, pulling him off the woman.

Tara grabbed the woman and rolled her over onto her back. She had every intent on finishing her off. She looked near dead anyway, and this was her sacrifice now, thanks to the harvest moon. However, when she looked down at the woman, she froze. The bloodied victim was pregnant. Tara had not expected this and fairy laws were clear. Children were never to be harmed. Ever. Only adults could be a sacrifice. Only adult blood of a human or forest fairy would count. Killing a child would be worse than making no sacrifice at all. In fact, it guaranteed eternal torture.

The pregnant woman looked up at Tara, stretching her arms out to hold her belly.

“Pa..Pa..Pleeeasse help my baby,” whimpered the woman. Instinctively, Tara pulled her torn garment off her stomach. She wiped away the blood as best she could to see her wounds.  She was covered in scratches and blood, but there only appeared to be one shallow stab wound on her stomach.

“You belly looks ok. There is only one cut and it’s shallow,” reported Tara.

“I turned. I tried to protect… please help my baby. Don’t let it die,” pleaded the woman.

“Of course you did,” Tara smiled while rubbing the lady’s forehead. “You did great.”

“Something’s wrong. I cannot feel the baby. I cannot feel…Please. Oooohhh. Please. Please don’t let my baby die.”

Tara wasn’t a doctor, but she had lived in the forest for nearly 100 years. She’d seen many lives end, as well as begin. These were typically animals lives though. However, she wasn’t ignorant to human life and had always tried to make her harvest moon sacrifices as painless as possible.

In her century of life, she had had to learn about regular humans. Sometimes, it was merely out of curiosity. Other times, she was on a mission to study them so her encounters with them would not raise suspicions.  She needed to blend in to survive. All her experiences combined with her fairy senses, told her enough to agree with this woman. It didn’t look good for her or her baby.

As she stared down at the woman, she ran her hand over the mother’s belly. Then, she laid her hands on the woman’s head. She could feel life slipping away from the woman. Yet, the baby felt strong so far. But unless the baby was delivered soon, Tara knew, it would die with the mother.

Just then, Sam ran over.  Tara glanced up at him, and then over to the attacker who lay on the ground, still and lifeless. She knew Sam had made his sacrifice and from the scene they came upon, the world would not miss that human in the least.

Tara looked back at Sam. “She’s pregnant.”

Immediately, Sam knelt next to Tara. “How is the baby?”

“It seems fine surprisingly, but probably not for long,” Tara stated as she looked over the mother. “She’s bleeding a lot, but doesn’t seem to be in labor.”

“We have to save the baby,” said Sam while discovering a deep wound along the woman’s neck. She whimpered under the pressure of his hands. “I don’t think she is going to make it. This gash is so deep.”

“And there are several more on her back,” replied Tara.

“Save…my, my baby…my baby,” stammered the woman who had started to fall in and out of consciousness.

“We will my dear. We will. You did a great job protecting it. You were so very brave,” soothed Tara. She looked up at Sam. “This baby is not coming naturally, but it has to come now or it will die with her.”

Sam felt the woman’s belly, then her head. He was trying to sense the life of each spirit, like Tara had done moments before. He looked up at Tara. “I think your right. She’s going to die regardless. We both know that. But either way, we have to save the baby.”

“Let me at least give her some comfort. She has suffered enough,” said Tara. “Get my backpack.” Sam ran over to where they had stopped and discovered the brutal scene. He grabbed the backpack she had thrown aside and brought it to her.

Tara quickly pulled out a bottle of water and a large rolled up leaf from her bag. She unrolled the leaf and pulled out a pinch of the enclosed crushed herbs.

“Good idea,” said Sam when he recognized the herbal concoction that would give the woman a sense of comfort and euphoria.

“I can at least give her peace before she dies.”

Sam nodded and stood up, giving Tara room. Tara leaned over the woman’s head and put the herbs on her tongue. Then, she  poured a tiny bit of water into her mouth, causing her to swallow.

Meanwhile, Sam walked over to where he had thrown the attacker’s knife. After a few minutes, he found the bloody blade and returned to Tara and the dying mother who was now feeling no pain.

When he reached them, Tara had her hands over the woman’s mouth and nose, putting her out of her misery. And as a result, had just fufilled her official harvest moon sacrifice. Sam paused, knowing this fact would not matter if the child was not saved. He stood there, holding the knife in Tara’s sight and announced, “You are going to need this since there is no labor, and the baby must live.”

“I know. I know. But you can’t help me. If I mess up, I want this only on me. It can only be by my hands,” Tara said, looking at the knife.

Sam knelt down beside her and grabbed her hand. “No. You’ve made your sacrifice with kindness. I have made mine defending another. The harvest moon’s demands have been met. It gave us another option. Now, we will save this baby together. And together, we shall remain.”

Tara looked at him. “OK. But if we fail, we will both go to the Casism, instead of just me.”

“Yes, so the law says when you kill a child,” Sam replied coldly. “But…if we succeed, we will be bonded together forever by saving a child on the harvest moon. We have a chance at a blessing I never thought was possible. Not until I met you Tara.”

Tara stared at him realizing that he was referring to ancient fairy blessing that bound two lovers together when they saved a child on a harvest moon. It was more than a spiritual binding too. It was blessing so deep that it released them from the harvest moon’s annual call for blood. By saving the child together, on this night, they would not only be saved from the horror of life in the Casism, but they would be forever freed from the one night of horror that forest fairies dreaded. And, they could stay mated forever.

Tara nodded, “I had not thought of that Sam. I had almost forgotten that legend.”

“So, we will do it together,” he replied and leaned in to give her a kiss.

“Together,” she repeated. “We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

“Yes. Indeed we do. So, together forever. By dawn, it will a new begging for the three of us.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Harvest Moon Night #writephoto


Tara stared up at the moon knowing the horror would soon come. It had to. But for now, she could lay here next to him, legs entangled, and revel in his masculine scent.

The soft glow of the moon illuminated his handsome young face and broad shoulders. He looked so peaceful…so happy with his arms stretched out behind his head. His chest gently rose and fell from his breaths and he wore a near smile in his sleep. Tara giggled quietly. He’s reveling in his conquest. I will let him enjoy it for now… she thought as she traced her finger along his chest and abdomen and her foot along his leg. He moaned slightly and instinctively responded.

red-moon-011

She smiled. He was cute and had been an exceptionally passionate lover. She had even enjoyed their playful encounter that turned into more than she planned…

Originally, she set out for the handsome hiker to discover her along the trail. She’d be “lost and upset.” She’d let him come and save her. Then, she would turn the tables on him. Yet, this hiker was different. He made her want to stall her plan. She wanted more time with him. So as they walked along the trail, they chatted and laughed. Tara found out that Sam wasn’t just a hiker. He was a forest-ranger-in-training. He loved the forest, its smell, its creatures. He had just moved here, which would explain why she had not seen him before. His scent was new and invigorating. It did not explain how he seemed to know her lands so well though. That made her wonder, but she tossed that thought aside to enjoy the moment.

As they walked,they fell into an easy banter and comfortable unity. She watched his wonder and respect of the forest. She devoured the sound of his deep voice. And her blood warmed when he held her hand to guide her down some rocks. There was something different about him for sure. He was not like other prey. No, he was something more. And it aroused her senses and desire.

After some time, Sam suggested they take a break. “There’s a waterfall up here according to the map,” he said with a charming smile. Tara knew the waterfall of course. She knew every inch of the forest. It had been her home for nearly 100 years after all.

She smiled, “That sounds great. I could use some water. Thank you so much for getting me back on track.”

When they got to the waterfall, Sam immediately set down his backpack, removed his clothes, and jumped in the water. “You coming in?” he called with a delicious smile on his wet lips.

This man was full of surprises, she thought, and quick. She laughed as she set down her pack.

Slowly, Tara played along. There was no harm in having a little fun before she revealed her horrible secret.

“Is it cold?” she asked coyly.

“No. Its refreshing actually,” he said as he looked around the falls. “It is better than I imagined. It is almost like the water is charging my blood and spirit. Man! I love this place!”

Tara laughed. “You do love the outdoors, don’t you?”

“I can’t imagine anything better.”

“Nothing?”

“How can anything compare to this? The water is invigorating. The air is so fresh. The view is magical….”

As Sam listed his appreciation for her forest and turned in circles looking around, Tara removed her clothes. When he finally realized it, she was standing before him, naked.

He looked up and soaked in the sleek curves of her body and cascading black hair. He saw her coy smile and replied with his own.

“I stand corrected. You standing there, like that, here….yeah, that’s better,” he laughed.

“I had hoped you would think so.”

“Oh, I do. I really do.”

With that Tara descended down into the water. Sam was observant. She’d give him that. The water was invigorating. In fact, it was healing and renewing. It was one of the many things in her forest that helped her remain youthful over the century. And here it was again, offering her more: a playmate. She whispered thanks to the water and walked over to her eager hiker.

Without waiting Sam grabbed her, pulled her close and kissed her deeply. His fingers ran through her hair and traced her back. Tara responded with her own eager hands exploring his body. Oh yeah, this is a nice surprise, she thought. My plans can wait…for a bit.

Indeed, her plan did wait as they had lost the entire afternoon at the waterfall playing and discovering. She wasn’t complaining though. No, no complaints at all. In fact, the turn of events was quite pleasing. So pleasing in fact, she eagerly took the afternoon into evening.

Now, here she lay on a blanket, naked and under the moon with her prey, Sam. Her body smiled. Her heart smiled. It had been a wonderful afternoon and evening. She had almost forgotten the joy of companionship. But the time had come. A sacrifice had to be given under the full moon. Yet, she didn’t move. She didn’t want this moment to end.

However, she knew each year the harvest moon demanded blood. If she were to live another year as a forest fairy, she had to be a forest witch on this night. She had to hunt and kill to survive. And it was only once a year that human blood had to be shed. It wasn’t a big price for living the life of magic and wonder. Was it? she thought. But…for the first time in decades, she had second thoughts. She liked Sam enough that she didn’t want him to be her sacrifice. She sighed and looked over at Sam. He was staring at her.

“Is it time?” he whispered in his silky voice.

“What?”

“You don’t have to pretend Tara. I know what you are and what you need to do tonight.”

Tara leaned back and laughed. “What are you talking about silly?”

“I know you are a forest fairy. And I know, tonight is the harvest moon, which means, you need a sacrifice. And since I am the one here with you…I kind of figured it would be me.”

Tara sat up and stared at him. He sounded so calm.

“And you are not afraid?”

“No. Not at all. I actually came out here for the same reason… for I am like you. And now, here you are, with me,” he said as he flickered a spark from his hands as proof.

She sat, staring at him. Comprehending the tragedy in silence for a few minutes.

“What if we just don’t do it?” she asked.

“Then we both shall turn completely human I suppose….or drop dead immediately I guess,” he laughed. “I’ve never denied the harvest moon.”

“Me either.”

“I guess that is why we are both so old.”

“Speak for yourself old man,” Tara laughed as she slapped his arm playfully. “Wait. How old are you anyway?”

“89.”

“I thought you seemed a bit young when I saw you,” she replied.

“And you my vixen. How old are you?”

“I will be 100 next week.”

“Aaahh. And I KNEW you were a cougar! But a cougar with a birthday next week? How great! I should like to smother you with affection on your birthday, much like today as a matter of fact,” Sam stated.

Tara dropped the clothes she held to her chest. “Well, we can just pretend its my birthday now. We have a few more hours before we need to decide anything anyway.”

“Indeed we do,” smiled Sam as he looked up at the moon. “There is no point in rushing into a rash decision. So we may as well celebrate in the meantime.”

With that, Sam held out his hand. Taking his hand she leaned towards him. Inches away from each other, they stared longingly. He took in her full lips, dark chocolate eyes and flowing coal hair. She traced his strong jaw with her finger while she stared into his piercing green eyes.

“Maybe there is another way,” she whispered.

“Perhaps. Meanwhile, come to me my fairy love. Our dark sides can wait for a few hours while our light glows. Maybe, if we make the glow strong enough, the harvest moon will provide,” he wistfully stated as he pulled her on top of him.

“It’s certainly worth the effort indeed. Let us not waste another moment.”

{TO BE CONTINUED…]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Cracked snowglobe


The cold tunnel shielded the wind, almost making it warm. But the cold wasn’t why he hid in the tunnel really. He had practically lost all ability to feel more pain. His heart was numb. So, he didn’t hid from the cold but rather the reality of what had become his life.

Mark stared at the view like he was looking into a snow globe. The lights reflected off the shimmering river. The crisp white flakes of lace blanketed the sloped bank. And it was quiet, and peaceful. It wasn’t at all like the flashing scenes of darkness and screaming in his head.

It was in these moments of peace he remembered his life. Well, his life before this. It wasn’t perfect but it was perfect enough. He was happy man, a respected man and a hopeful man. He remembered Amanda, her smile, her laugh. He’d known his wife since they met in middle school. And since then, they were inseparable. After college, they got married and all the town could say was, what took you so long. They were in no rush though. They had each other.

About a year after being married, they found out they were pregnant. They practically glowed in happiness as they moved about town. People couldn’t help but stare at them and smile. They were the perfect couple.

Then, one night it was all ruined.

As Amanda and Mark returned from an evening out, a drunk driver slammed into their car, on the passenger side, where Amanda sat. The idiot was driving so fast, his car collided with enough force to pin Amanda in the car. After the initial shock of the hit, Mark regained consciousness. He could hear Amanda screaming, crying out. Oh my God! Mark! The baby! I can’t feel it. I can’t feel anything!

Mark scrambled about the car, wobbly from his own injuries. But he could move. Amanda couldn’t. Her car door was crushing her into her seat. Mark held her hand. Kissed her. And laid his head on her stomach. Hold on little one. Don’t you leave me. Please don’t leave me.

His pleas were not enough though. Amanda and the baby left Mark that night. And with them, his heart and feelings died too. Since then, Mark lived in a daze. Not really alive but not yet dead either. He felt dead though. But until that happened, he would sit here and push away the screams of that horrible day, and sit here and watch the snow globe and pretend it wasn’t cracked.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Time to Hide or Fight?


Far away from the world of evil and hate,

Is the place I want to live, and ultimately wait.

 

For the world is turning ever so cold,

And I cannot bear to watch it, slowly implode.

 

We rape and kill our Earth and fellow man.

Human race’s destruction–I cannot understand.

 

Why can’t we live with love and create

A world filled with wonder that’s truly great?

 

Why can’t we use our hands to embrace

Those who have tears streaming down their face?

 

Why do we care about others’ religion and race,

If their actions are genuine and displaying grace?

 

Why are we filled with so much greed?

Must we hoard more than we need?

 

The questions I have, but no answers come.

And with each new crisis, my heart breaks some.

 

There has to be something that we all can do.

For if we bound together, we’d form a glue.

 

Stick together and form a world of love.

Push up our sleeves and pull on gloves.

 

For peace cannot come if we leave it to fate.

Terrorists are already inside our protected gates.

 

But they’re not always wearing turbans of terror.

Sometimes it’s there, right in our own mirror.

 

Look inside your heart and search your soul.

Reflect on your actions and think about your goal.

 

Do the things that you do come with a price?

Do you have to pause and think about them twice?

 

Does your life help the world in one small way?

When you die… what, if anything, will others say?

 

Will they say that you were an example of charm?

That you always helped others, causing no harm.

 

Or will they say you that you were full of greed?

That you were always unhappy, always mean.

 

None of us are perfect or free from all sins.

The ultimate question, is which side wins?

 

Are you mostly good and doing your part?

Or have you been bad, and need a new start?

 

Each day is a chance to come anew?

Learn to love and how to be true.

 

None of us alone can solve it all.

But united we stand, divided we fall.

 

Join together in love and fight the hate.

Then maybe just maybe, hiding in a cave can wait.

 

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For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo Challenge.