It’s time to take a walk in the deep, dark forest.
I spin out through the night, one delicate thread after another wafting over this leaf, against that limb. I work slowly, and methodically.
I step back to admire my work. If you are not as blind as I am, you won’t see a thing.
I lay my traps meticulously, one piece at a time. Not until the end, not until I reach the other side, do I place to final bit, do I connect them all.
All I have to do is sit back and wait. Eventually, the Moon rises. She pours forth Her own call. I am merely the humble servant.
I close my eyes, leaning against the wall of earth I have chosen as my blind. I know I have plenty of time, to rest, to gather strength, to inhale the magic of the Night.
The noise creeps along at first, low to the ground, a mumble. Yet, I am alert. Calm and ready. Is it one? Is it many? I can’t tell yet.
I hunker down, sighing deeply into my second sight, shutting down all but what I need to undertake this offering.
The tumult now erupts, having awakened the smaller, the lesser kinds, throwing them to the mercy of the Forest. Little do they understand, the creatures who live here, they know. They may not see the webs and the snares, but they feel them, as clearly as sunlight dancing on their skin, or the wind freezing the tips of their tails. No, the ones who live here in the dark, who live here in the deep, they are safe. At least, from me.
A yelp here. Now a stinging cry. A boisterous squawk. A clamor. An uproar. All of it, swelling, boiling up, as if a river about to purge herself of unwanted gluttonous binges and barges…all of it, straining to bury itself headfirst in my traps.
I feel the tension as they barge into my spaces, filling up my traces. I slowly exhale, focusing all my energy on that third eye. In through the nose, a calming second holding…then out through the eye…the tightening, the quickening…the silencing.
I wait here. I hear the blood droplets oozing down bark and briar. I allow the Night to take as She pleases. I am glad to give thanks to those who protect me. I make these offerings with an open willing heart.
The boscage drinks the tears, the sweat as if flutters onto the swollen kingdom, embittered leaves now dust from the feet of the Lost that I have taken to my bosom.
I understand. Each of us here has a right to take our due.
I lift up, voicing a well-loved song, old as the hills themselves, and aphotic still. I call forth my brethren, from the gloom and the gloam. This feast is for them. My yellow-eyed brothers and sisters. How I love them.
I remain immobile as I hear teeth rend meat, jaws snapping bones to bits, leather torn and shredded, cast aside. It takes seconds. The cavalry, gone. I listen for the clinking and clanking of weapons gathered, of remnants of pockets sorted, of boots left behind for another kind.
I smile, nodding. Footsteps pad off, into the woods, into the hills, into the caverns. My task this night is complete.
I have new shadows elsewhere to dance with and I am eager to find them.