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The slight smell of evergreen meets her nose, finding it’s way deep into her brain. It pulls distant memories into her mind.
She opens her eyes, face pointed toward the grey white sky, specked by the tops of trees. She begins to spin, around and around, until she has lost all sense of reality, and all everything is grey, green, grey, green.
She closes her eyes again, listening to the birds call to each other. Hawks, loud and deep, sparrows, nearly unnoticeable, and finches and blue jays, cawing and renting the air with a million different sounds. And then, nearly indistinguishable, the sound of the wind, whistling through the trees, and farther away, the brook, rushing over stones in its path.
She sits down, relaxing onto the ground, everything spinning around her. The musty, earthy smell of the forest reaches her, mingled with the sound of a drop of water from a tree branch hitting the dirt.
* * *
His gaze scans the forest floor, picking out the pine needles from the rich brown dirt. The noon sun casts long shadows behind all the trees. He walks toward the boulder in the center of the clearing, his footsteps dragging, leaving long impressions in the dirt.
A raindrop splashes onto the grainy grey rock, and tears follow, masking his face in a salty cascade of emotion. He slumps backwards, and his grief explodes inside of him like a bomb, filling him with a desperate desire to do something rash and stupid.
She was his life, and now someone outside their paradise had pushed his daydream away, and forced him into reality.
If the car had just stopped, if the driver had hung up his cell phone, she would be with him, and he would sill be living in the glorious world of fantasy.
* * *
A thousand butterflies beat within her stomach. She has never felt this powerful of an emotion before, and nothing seems to stop it. An unwanted panic builds inside her chest, and explodes, leaving her shaking.
It’s only Nationals. She tries to calm her self, but nothing seems to work. She is drowning in panic, and nothing can help.
And then a finch flies in front of her, chirping a song that seems to come from some other world, for how could something this beautiful have originated on earth?
Her breathing slows, and finally she understands. Here, right now, is where she is, and where she needs to be. Nationals will come, but this clearing, right now, is her life, and she regardless of what happens, she will always be here in her heart.
* * *
His feet pound the scuffed up dirt, and he throws himself onto the ground, breathing heavily. Hatred seeps into his brain, and he screams out loud, pressing his lips together to stop.
Red spots dance before his vision, making his sway as he stands. How dare that impudent little child taunt him? He lies on the hard packed dirt again, and begins to sing, making up the words as he goes.
His whole being radiates a special kind of aura, one of pure love for his song. He weaves the story of his trouble, the child who insulted him, and the clearing’s magic of taming emotions.
He sings a song so beautiful that the whole forest seems to hold its breath, awaiting more. He sings his song so powerfully that all the animals listen, and he finally sings himself into a delirium that is sleep.