DREAMTIME (99 words)
Muddy footprints march past the kitchen counter towards the vestibule. Taking a deep breath, Laurel tiptoes to the doorway and peeks. The man in the corridor smiles at her. She screams.
She wakes up soaked in sweat. The roots of the gnarled oak under which she shelters feels hard under her thighs. In the moonlight, the clearing around the oak is desolate.
The dream again.
She curls up tightly, trying to calm the shudders racking her body. It feels so real. Each night the dream becomes more detailed, but tonight, for the first time, she has seen his face.
AFTERWARDS (100 words)
Hunter blew smoke rings and glanced at Jude lying beside him. She looked beautiful, the firelight glinting off her sweat darkened skin, breasts rising and falling in time with her ragged breathing. She watched him, legs in a tangle, eyes dark and smoky; a picture of satiated abandonment. Reaching over, he put the cigarette between her lips. Nuzzling her shoulder gently, he stroked his fingers down her flank, watching her skin indent and spring back. She squirmed and laughed softly, putting her hand over his.
“That tickles,” she said, leaning over to kiss him.
She tasted like tobacco and sex.
And mark, the dark and lonely tarn
A limpid eye on some craggy heath
Where forlorn willows do drunkenly list
To sip at waters veiled in mist
A shroud for she who dwells beneath
In the deep of night, the witching hour
She walks upon the unlit bank
To dance upon the grasses bare
Until the morning bright doth dare
To force her to her bower rank
All night she twirls, scarce touching the ground
And sings a melody hauntingly fair
To snare the unwary man who strays
Unwitting, unknowing of her ways
Into the gossamer skein of her lair
Then she leads them, dancing still
Into the tarn, under waters dark
Where they see at last her dread true grace
Those fiery green eyes in a wan pale face
Translucent and beautifully stark
Rusalka is the name she whispers
In the ear of those unfortunate swain
Who follow the nymph with golden hair
Whose comb conjures the water where
She dwells eternal. Rusalka.
Bryan Knower 2013