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I found myself stumbling upon this little mud path, man-made and walked over often. Walking down it, as anyone would, I escaped the suffocation of the thick layer of trees that made up the forest. The path trickled down to a glass river that holds no secret and does no crime - it is as innocent as it is transparent. The pebbles that lay at the river bed were as clear as day - their size ranged but all of them held their relevancy as they remained part of the community that formed the bed. On the surface flowed the leaves and petals of the cherry blossom tree which hung over the river. They flew in the wind and landed in the water, satisfied with their flight and excited for their new adventure. Each leaf and petal was replaced by another as they carried on floating along the river, escaping my gaze. More began to succumb to the gentle pressures of the light breeze, causing a pink and green synchronised dance in the wind. My eyes began to focus on a figure which was partially embedded in the waves of the water.
I found myself coming across this concrete path, man-made and used often. Walking down it, as anyone would, I escaped the darkness formed by the thick layer of trees that made up the forest. The path hurried me down to a swamp filled with secrets and crimes - it is as toxic to see as it is toxic to drink. Nothing below the deep green coating could be seen; everything that devised this steady flowing creature was meaningless. It was just there - moving. Trees loomed above these devil waters, casting their souls to the fate below. They were compelled to disregard and eliminate the weak and frail as soon as possible without a care, without a second thought. The fallen leaves were engulfed by the movement of the polluted liquid and dissolved by its toxins. As one was terminated, another was released; a perpetual cycle of disparity and grief. More began to succumb to the rough pressures of the gale, causing a black and brown synchronised dance in the wind. My eyes began to focus on a figure which was partially embedded in the waves of the water.
It was her auburn hair that caught my attention and interest. It contrasted and complimented her soft but pale skin beautifully. She had loose, long, messy curls which framed her face graciously and lined her figure immaculately. Her strands swayed gently in the light breeze and touched her burning cheeks gently as they moved past. Whilst her skin was cool, her cheeks were warm with colour - a bright red which only roses could outcompete. As she looked around the colour of her eyes shone in the morning light. Blue. Contrasting with her blush but complimenting with the waters in which she bathed. She used them to watch the dance of petals and leaves, just as I had, following the movement of the river and moving to the pace of the wind. Lifting water with her small palm, she placed it onto her skin and allowed it to trickle down her body. The bundle of water started at her shoulder and split into two parts: the droplets for the front and back. Her back was towards me so I watched the droplets drift down her shoulder and hide behind her curly, auburn mane. She continued to coat herself in water until she turned towards me, her motion insinuating that she already knew that I was there, standing and watching. Neither scared or disgusted or ashamed, she looked me in the eye. My dull eyes and her bright eyes collided in a direct stare. She smiled.
It was her auburn hair that caught my attention and evoked my disgust. It emphasised her pale and sickly skin dramatically. She had loose, long, messy curls which concealed her face desperately and wrapped around her figure urgently. Her strands, whilst dry and lifeless, swayed violently in the strong wind, smashing against her burning cheeks forcefully as they moved past. Whilst her skin was frozen from her surroundings, her cheeks were warm with colour - a burning red which only blood could outcompete. As she looked around the teary eyes shone in the moonlight. Blue. Standing out against her blush but complimenting her tears. She used them to watch the imprisonment of souls, just as I had, following the movement of the swamp and moving to the pace of the wind. Lifting her small hand out of the water, she began to wipe away her tears, causing muddy water from her palm to trickle down her body. Her face was towards me so I watched as she rubbed her eyes and cheeks with her filthy hands, removing the tears but leaving dirty stains. The more she stained, the more she rubbed, causing a perpetual cycle of disparity and grief. She continued to do so, until she looked up at me, her motion insinuating that she already knew that I was there, standing and watching. She looked me in the eye. My dull eyes and her tear filled eyes collided in a direct stare. She wept; I smiled.
After looking at a smile so pure and pretty, I looked up as I noticed another figure but on the other side of the river. They smiled, a concerning smile, which brought goosebumps to my flesh. It was a smile so malicious and bitter I could almost see poison seeping from the space between the upper and lower lip. I couldn’t see their body, only their dark facial features. Their eyes met mine. We held each other there, distancing ourselves from our surroundings and focusing solely on the pair of eyes opposite us. Until suddenly, they yielded, lowering in shame. Turning away, the malevolent creature scurried into the darkness of the forest, stumbling on their way.
I let out a breath of relief and begin to relax my tense muscles. Turning down to the river before me, I see a river and only a river. There is no figure of a beautiful woman with curly, messy auburn hair and rosy red cheeks and a kind smile. I’m still looking but nothing is there, just the water and the petals and leaves, dancing in the wind.
© 2021 Pwavi Hans