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Saima

For endless days and endless nights, I’ve been shackled in between these gray dungeon walls, the shackles tight against my skin, almost a part of my flesh. The darkness has become a part of me; the shadows have become my only companions.

Through the barred window I see a shooting star. It fills my cell with a bright light. The white orb leaves a silvery trail in its passing. I long for freedom, for a chance to breathe outside these dark walls. I close my eyes shut and open them.

Before me is a large opening in the wall. A bright light emanates from it as though it were the light of day. My shackles evanesce and reveal the pale skin on my wrists. I step into the portal.

I find myself in a forest. A spectrum of colors surrounds me. The treetops are lush and green. Little vines drop down from them, and tiny red flowers suddenly bloom. The bushes on the forest floor are dotted with more flowers. The flowers glow brightly as they change colors, like a chameleon. I touch the flowers and their petals fall off.

The petals turn into wings, the wings of a butterfly. The wings flutter toward me. The butterflies are not butterflies at all.

Fairies.

They glow with the same intensity of the surrounding flowers. Their skin is just as bright as the petals of the flowers. Their beady black eyes are focused on me. They swirl around me giving me kisses and affectionate nips.

I plop down on the tall, green grass. I’m bathed in the dew of the cool night. The moon shines in the velvety purple sky. It smiles down on me and its winged children.

The surrounding trees seem to move closer. They encircle me, loom over me like clock towers, and slowly bend over like a watching owl. Their smooth, brown bark twists into ghastly faces.

Frightened, I run.

The fairies bite me; they screech with their high shrilled voices and pull at my hair.

I run faster.

The flowers and trees seem to glare at me in my escape. The moon fades into the blackness of the atmosphere. But all of a sudden, the sound of trickling water fills my ears. It breaks the deathly silence.

I come upon a river. The trees above try to touch me with their branches, almost like claws. I speed up my pace as I follow the river downstream. The trees arch over me, they look like they are creating a corridor that leads me to a mysterious destination. I walk under the arch of trees until the river stops at a pond.

A small waterfall trickles from a ledge above. From behind the cascade, a beautiful maiden steps out.

Her eyes are black as the night, but so much emptier. Her small pink lips glisten like stars. Her skin is the same marble-like texture and snow white tint of her hair.

Her empty eyes call my name as she steps back into her cavern. The waterfall too whispers my name.

I take slow steps into the pond and walk through the waterfall. The water is cool and crisp. I can feel it invigorate my mind. It cleanses my spirit.

The maiden calls me deeper into the cavern. I follow her in and allow her gentle fingers to explore my face.

She shows me visions. Visions that any mortal couldn’t imagine. Visions of beauty, a beauty so deadly that my soul was slowly starting to leave my skin.

I want to break free, yet I want to stay in this hollow paradise. Love and hate, life and death dance before my eyes.

My breath becomes labored on her breast. Her arms cradle me and I am gone.



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