going to post the rest of this novella in bigger chunks

The Forest


As soon as we walk into the forest, the climate changes drastically. The dark, glossy leaves seem to trap heat within their secret folds and I begin to sweat like a raincloud. I pull off my heavy coat and carry it on my arm. Three seconds later you follow suit.


It is strangely silent in this forest. Perhaps this is the nature of all forests? Except for the rustle of soft feathers of some unknown bird, not even a chirp or cry can be heard. There is no path on the ground, no indication that we are indeed moving forward. The neverending canopy of trees bends time into a moebius strip of stepping, the crisp crunch of branches underfoot, the knowledge that we are breathing harder, and stepping again. I look to your face and it is misted with sweat as if you were caught in a surprise spring shower.

            “How do you know where you’re going?” I ask.

            “I marked the trees last time.”

I feel dazed. I hadn’t noticed you touching the slashes on the massive trunks. The heat is getting unbearable now. I want to strip down to my skin. I put forth this proposal as casually as I can. You laugh and say, “Don’t worry, we’re almost there.”

Whale Song


From deep in the forest, I hear a wail that makes the soft hairs at the back of my neck stand on end like porcupine quills. The voice quavers at a note for several seconds and moves to a strange tone I didn’t know existed, charging the air with electricity. It is the voice of a whale song, a voice of centuries past, a voice that splinters the silent forest into a million pieces of dark green glass. I really have no adequate words to describe that voice—nevermore will I be the same person who walked into this great darkness, I know this somehow. As we get closer to the sound, I realize that it is more than one voice. A collective wail rises and falls like oceantides, and I can discern the male and female components. At least I think I can; these supernatural singers may very well be genderless. There are no words as far as I can tell, just a moan of pain or maybe a moan of lust. I clutch your hand tightly, not in fear, but something close to that. You do not say anything but move forward into the black trees.







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