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Descending from the hole gouged in the middle of the night sky, moonlight encrusted the soundless street with soft silver paint. No one else but only the waxed moon witnessed them walking side by side with their attached shadows extended. Following her, he traced the road aimlessly in the tenderness of the night. The path widened as it led uphill--entry to an overwhelming emptiness.
Soon, they would be able to see the lake at the horizon, lit up by a bonfire.
The two seemed to have long gone forgotten their purpose. Colored by the silver star dust, his mind scrambled and lost shapes. Bubbles of thoughts popped and evaporated into the cool air without a sound.
He stopped first. She turned around and searched for his shining pupils, waiting for him to start the conversion, but he didn’t.
“You really shouldn’t come with me.” She blinked, and looked away.
“It’s not about you, but for the sake of the whole village.” He said without looking at her.
Her eyes were as calm as stagnant water, still and emotionless.
She nodded, and he slightly lifted his lips still without looking at her, “The past three weeks haven’t been dry since they sent those kids down to the water...” He once again suppressed the stream of words from surging out, releasing only a tiny flow of it, “but I can’t... I...”
She smiled and touched his cheek with her index finger, “There’s nothing I should run away from. Neither shall you.” She took his hand and took a step closer, shortening the distance between their shadows.
His heart pounded as he felt her approaching soft breasts, and before he could turn away, her lips met his. Her hair swept his arm, and he felt every nerve in his body which left his brain. Yet, deep inside his heart, he knew that she never loved him. He tried to reel in the blush on his face and the rising heat in his blood, but nothing could stop the natural reaction of his body.
After some moments, she backed away from him. Under the moon light, he looked at her with a pair of trembling eyes. Fading surprise, joy, and then desperation was on his face. Together, they walked in unison again towards the finale of their short journey.
The other villagers had been waiting along the shoreline for some time. He could see his parents weeping behind the crowd, not daring to meet his eyes. Quickly, several men marked with tattoos of the gods ripped his and her clothes off and tied the two up back to back. As a part of the sun extended out and appeared behind the mountains from far away, they were moved to a little canoe.
When the canoe reached the heart of the lake, the two tattooed men lifted the two young people up – those who were once full of promise, and held them high to toss. The boy took a deep breath and, for the last time, took a peek at the clouds, the crowds, the back of the girl’s head. Would she cry, he wondered, for knowing that they would soon meet Madiya--the Water Man? She had never wept in front of him, but he was sure she also had weaknesses, fragile spots that she would never reveal but soothed it with tears on her own.
And through the air they flew, smacking the water hard.
Oxygen rose from his nostrils, blurring his view of her as the tattooed men held them deep for a moment. Her hair then danced in the water like a waving seaweed. He thought he could hear her cry, but he didn’t. Only a small part of him started to growl and gurgle. Darkness overlapped them in the depths before he could turn around and smell her hair again.