Bright and sharp is the call of the bell; hard and smart is its sting.
The forest is death cold, damp and choked full of branches. I am blind to more than a few footsteps ahead. The leaf mould floor is so thick with decomposition that I stumble dragging my legs through fungal soup. Smells of sweet decay haunt my nostrils.
I have been lost here all my life. Left alone here since I first crawled out of from between her legs as a newborn fool.
Birds shriek about sex and territory but I don’t listen, all I do is keep on looking for her. A shadow eclipses the moonlight and as open my lips to call her name, a whisper of moths flutter out.
There behind a smooth trunk of an elephant shaped beech, she is hiding from me; don’t ask me how I know. I lock on, lethal joy flushing my chest. I surge toward her as angry pine branches tear at what is left of my clothes. Bright beads of blood jewel up my filthy skin but I keep going. I can almost see her, grinning with childie delight at my approach.
Finally I am through the thicket, cut and ruined. I throw my arms around the trunk to feel the beat of her squeal from the other side, but only naked bark welcomes my embrace. All that is left is the scent of her cedar skin to encourage me.
She keeps the game going, lures me on a trail in the undergrowth. I fall into a walking dream; longing to fall against moss with her mouth inside mine, I keep moving. A spider has used one of her hairs to weave a signpost into it’s home, her clever fingers are as deft and subtle, but I recognise every bright filament.
I take off what is left of the tatters of my shoes, to rummage deep into the sticky mud with my toes. The rude sounds of sucking wet soil helping me piece together the fragments of our fading memories.
Ours was a precarious affair full of screeching bitter revenges and feminine fears. Rolling among soily grass roots we slept in ditches. Peeling open our sleep stuck eyes to stare down bruised skies at dawn.
She was huge, fertile as a boar, able to ferret out my concealed things with her curved and wicked tusks. We never had enough of skin sliding against skin, of fragrant sticky nests under arms and between legs. She picked every flower she could find to press between my creases, fragrant petals crushed into rich pungent pastes.
Suddenly I hear her carelessly snap a twig somewhere to my left and immediately my naked feet plough the soft ground running to catch her. I pretend I will scold her now, for playing so ruthless when both of us are tired. Tired of missing the honey whispers of hot breath into silky hair.
A badger eyes me balefully and I know why none of the woodland creatures are disturbed by my presence; I smell like I belong to them.
Why does she not come? What am I, if I am not hers? Whose story am I in, if not a story of us? Where else is there beside the softened mossy recesses of our copse?
I lie down to beg the ground directly, beating the wet soil with fists and feet. “Why?” I call down into a rabbit hole to her “I’ll do anything you want.” I choke on lungfuls of dirty air and whisper bravely as I can “Okay. I give up. You win; come, I need you back.”
As I crouch in the bramble of scrub, wet thorns branch tangle in my hair forcing my head backwards sharply. I whimper, hoping it is her come back to provoke my desire, but she is not there.
She is not coming.
Finally tears fill the cavities of my face. I am ashamed of what I have become. I know she will crow when she sees me crying, after all the tears she shed for me, but I have nowhere left to look. I pull away the last rag of my clothes and enjoy the sharp acid sting of the cold night.
She is gone; I must forget her.