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The Black Knight
Once upon a time, there was a lone knight, who abandoned his kingdom in the aftermath of war. He was a tall and handsome young man, with hair the hue of midnight and eyes of a hawk watching the strange humans from the sky. His name had faded into obscurity, so that even he sometimes ceased to remember it.
He wandered aimlessly through the wood, hoping to find something, though he did not quite know what he was looking for. One day, he stumbled upon a trail laid out by someone before him, where the leaves had been cleared and the grass trodden. He followed it deeper and deeper into the trees, so far that the birds had fallen silent.
The trail stopped abruptly at a small lake, the clear water glistening with promise. He approached it cautiously and looked down to see his reflection. The sharp gray orbs gazed back at him, set shallowly into an angular face.
A ripple suddenly disturbed his countenance. His head shot upward in alarm. Before him was a young woman, barely more than a girl, staring at him curiously from across the lake. She was dressed in a white gown, only a few shades lighter than her fair skin. The embodiment of innocence. Her hair, long chestnut tresses that rested gently on her back, shimmered in the sunlight.
He was enraptured by her beauty, feeling the tug of desire pull at his heartstrings. After a moment of careful hesitation, he called out to her, beckoned her with a gesture of his hand.
She floated toward him slowly, as if she was simply a dream his desperate mind had created. But soon, she stood before him, inquisitive eyes in search of his intent. He reached out to her, brushed his calloused fingertips against her delicate skin.
A gasp exited her full lips, but she did not back away. Instead, she dipped so that her head nearly reached her knees in a deep curtsy.
He held out a hand, and she took it without resistance, her heart aching to remedy the loneliness within.
He led her gently along the perimeter of the water, periodically stopping to watch the fish swimming carelessly below them. At one point, they faced each other, waiting for the other to initiate. He grasped her face with his hands, lightly brushing his fingers against her cheeks in a tender caress.
Their lips met, and she stepped back, face contorted in pain. Her dress was now a riveting crimson. She fell to the ground, a hand clutching her chest. Slowly, she moved towards the water, as if it were pulling her in.
He caught her hand in an attempt to save her, but at his touch, her very flesh began to disappear, turning to dust until she was gone, her dress the only sign of her existence.
The young man cried out in agony and collapsed, despair racking his body. If only he had known what would occur when one taints the purest of beings.