Upon his rock he sat. Alone and cold he floated outward into the dark emptiness that surrounded him. It didn’t matter where he was and really didn’t matter how he felt; he was lost in his thoughts and incapable of doing anything other than obsess. The monotonous hammering of helplessness incessantly pounded grim images into his vapid mind and battered his spirit into a hollow empty flask. Sticking his arms straight up he laid backwards then rolled over onto his side and stared into the nothing. Blackness consumed him and cold slowly numbed him from the ground up. Eventually his mind went blank as forgotten images played out their scripted scenes in his dreams. His body settled into the rock and his world deceived him as it absorbed him deep within.
Norm leeched down through the earth and stone as his mass filtered through. His corporeal self broke down and he dripped through caverns and trickled down stalactites becoming molecular in the soft dirt before vaporizing into the atmosphere beneath. When his gaseous particles manifested, a thick cloud of mist in the air, and drifted from the east the dawn tinted him as fluffy rose colored ribbons floated out over the island. Under him he saw the treetops where birds glided from limb to limb. Their long straight trunks fell to the surface and lined the trail that led to a still pond where his creeping and wavy red lines reflected back at him. Bare footed and cloaked in rusty brown Helen gracefully walked and looked around entranced by the singing birds. She lightly dragged her hands across the trees as she passed them. With a howl he gathered up his strength and rushed to her.
The tree tops quivered and the leaves gave way as he blew through them. As he came down upon her the hood blew from her head and her yellow locks blew back as she closed her eyes. She held out her arms, like awaiting a hug, embracing the strong breeze, but quickly grabbed her hips when the robe pushed tight revealingly pressing to her lithe body. He whispered her name as he flowed around her, but….she didn’t hear him. He played with her hair and tickled her skin, yet….. she didn’t feel him. He passed through her essence and swam with her blood through her heart and still she could not taste him. She grabbed at her knees and pulled her robes up letting them fly with the breeze then lightly jogged ahead with vigor. With angst he passed by her and frustratedly returned to the sky. Here he swirled and gathered in a great fog. His thickening mass darkened blotting out the sun while layers of grays and slate blues squeezed through the middle like frosting on glass and expanded into a formidable mass. His flat top became black and static sizzled up in thin lines as he burst into rain with a rumble.
Quickly he descended in a great down pour covering the ponds surface with a thick coating of a million splashes. Running down the trees, across the dry dirt and gathering in the pond he turned to receive her as she slowed from the deepening water as it reached her thighs and dove into him. He knew she could feel him while the thousand small bubbles rose and her skin became tense with the tiniest of bubbles clinging to her. She pulled with her arms then kicked upward to a stall and as her hair wavered around her head he felt the short lived euphoria falter and the water became still. She surfaced and walked to the bank where she pulled herself out and onto some thick tree roots in the shade. Turning and kneeling down she looked into him and he refocused from her face to its reflection on the surface. She pulled her hair back and what was left of him on her dripped into the image emanating into small circled ripples and she was gone.
Norm climbed out of the pond then laid in the sun to dry for a moment. He pulled his dark green jacket around him, laced his boots up to his knees and pulled his long bow over his shoulder. He knew she wouldn’t be to far ahead and looked for her sign on the trail. Occasionally he saw a print where her small toes or heels had just pushed into the ground so he kept his pace slow and cautiously moved ahead hoping to see her first and not scare her. The smooth gray trees were spread out and climbed high to the thick canopy. An occasional bird flitted away and squirrels peeked over limbs as they hid. Stealthily he pushed ahead with eyes drifting up and down from her prints to the trail ahead. A blue jay chattered and and the woods grew calm with nervy silence. He slowed keeping tight to the trees when he saw movement off to his right. Carefully he creeped from tree to tree then he noticed the brown in the brush in front of him where she stood frozen like a deer.
He was too close and he knew it. As he barely moved, stepping between the crunchy sticks that lined the trail, he noticed the boomerang shaped leg rising from the forest floor blending into the trees. He floated slowly on and saw her backline on the other side of the tree and as he passed the next tree his head was fixed and eyes low knowing her head was next to be seen. As it came into view he saw her neck run into her forward pointing ears. The white inside of her ears contrasted with her wide black nose and her black eyes were fixed in his direction. Her red brown body merged with the woodland colors and she seemed to disappear frozen still and unmoving in the brushy woods, but he could see the horizon behind him shine white on her dark eyes while he moved past her acting as if he never saw her. As soon as he was out of sight he kneeled, nocked an arrow and then tried not to breath as the wait began. Eventually he saw the leaves move head high in the small trees ahead as she snuck past him and continued on her way. A few minutes more then he continued with his hunt and the woods came back to life behind him. Arrow pointing ahead he found her trail and carefully tracked his quarry.
The sky was growing dark as Norm approached the tree line. Tree to tree he’d walk, wait and then walk again to the next. Her prints came out of the forest and onto the beach where he paused to lean against a tree and waited to see her in the open. Minutes passed and night set in before he saw her walking ahead holding her light ahead of her. The night grew thick around him and the dew cooled him on the misty sea front. Patiently he moved to the light across the soft sand and pulled his arms tight to keep out the night air. The light became a lone and blinding circle of eerie yellow haze leaving a rippling line on the wavy surface to the water’s edge as she drifted away from him. He watched as it floated away and eventually everything became black and muffled. Kneeling down disheartened Norm gave into weariness and laid down on his back looking up for any sign of reality, but it was just dark. The night and the ground sucked him up and encompassed him like death. He laid there helpless, unable to move, unable to breath, unable to see, with his arms crossed over his chest and painfully pushing into his ribs from the weight of the ground as it devoured him.