Whispers of the Autumn Court
You’ve heard us your whole life
That raspy whispering from the trees that beckons and tells you
You’re one of us…
You were afraid once
The unknown darkness overwhelmed you
Above all sense of truth you found in our words.
So we waited
Our eyes boring holes in your soul
Holes that would open into gaping wounds as you struggled
Desperately to find answers to your own darkness that came
Flowing out in roaring waves, crashing and cascading
Until you could see now in dazzling horror
The darkness that dwelt within.
The path gone before you, you stumbled into our realms.
Ours was the world of dankness and seeping chill
Of rot and decay beneath the vibrant greens
Of flash-fire autumns that gave way quickly to winter’s barren bones.
Your fingers clawed in the earth
The hoof beats of hunters drew near- a sense of foreboding you had not yet learned to hear.
You’re one of us, we told you…
Renewed strength- or was it adrenaline?- you ran
Thorny branches tearing limbs and cloth,
Thick roots tripping, ripping foot and calf and shin
The horns bellowed, the hunter rode fast
And you clung to the gleaming lights that sometimes came down from the trees
Baying hounds harried you, close to brink of exhaustion
We called out: Do not fear! Do not run!
For you are just as we are.
Escalating into a clamorous cacophony the chase of hound and hunter grew closer, closer…
Until you found yourself in the hunter’s arms
Pressed against his chest as darkness drew in around you
And in his embrace you saw us clearly
Glowing eyes blinking under tree and fern
We are darkness and dampness
We are nibblers at bone and gnawers of flesh
We are decay and rot, flash-fire brightness and brittle shells
We are hunters and slinkers in dank forest shadows
Rooted deep in the mysteries of death and decay
And the last breaths of life
Fascinating and undeniably terrible…
Are one of us…
By Brenna Adaira