Ventulus

Dedicated to anyone who's ever wished for an adventure

I.

It was a caliginous evening as the young man set out to the docks, his coat waving silently in the moist sea air and engulfing his tall, lithe figure. The man's face was nothing more than a porcelain mask set against the harsh darkness of the midnight sea. He paused for a moment, wiping strands of ebony hair from his eyes and pulling them back into the garnished silver clasp revealing blood red eyes. Eyes so full of pain and anger and death, one would find it hard to gaze into them for a long period of time.

Once he'd adjusted his hair, he continued walking down the docks, shoes softly padding on the moist rotting wood. The wind picked up momentarily, and the waves crashed against the dock, spraying mist onto the porcelain skin that was so utterly flawless it seemed unreal.

His footsteps finally stopped, pausing just a few feet away from the edge, those deadly eyes focusing on a woman before him. She stood not even up to his shoulder, body belittled by the large sweatshirt and baggy jeans she managed to hold up with an old belt. For a moment, time paused as he watched the woman staring out into the sea, hazel eyes not quite focusing on the buoy rocking back and forth far out in the dark waters, then the calm was broken as she turned to face him, surprise marking those eyes as she rushed forward to greet him, throwing her arms around his waist.

Silently, the man just watched her bury her face into his sweatshirt before reaching down to grasp one of the mousey brown locks of hair clinging to her mist-covered face. "...You cut your hair." he whispered, though his voice was deep, a gentle boom of thunder. The oxymoron could hardly be impossible as his voice seemed to calm the ocean itself.

"I got promoted. The new division I'm working in sometimes deals with acidic chemicals, so safety procedures require all hair to be a certain length." she ended softer than she began, as if the entire conversation suddenly seemed moot. The man wrapped his arms around her waist, rocking her back in forth as if they were trying out for the world's worst dancing competition, though neither showed concern, happy to be in each other's arms for a brief moment in time.

After a few moments, he backed away, holding her at arms length and grinning slightly, ebony hair falling into his eyes again. "When it's all over, will you grow it out for me?" the gentle thunder again, opposites attracting into a beautiful voice.

The woman sighed, looking down at her feet as the wind blew hair into her face. "I try not to think of those things." she said softly, almost impossible to be heard. The man frowned, face betraying that he was in deep thought. Finally, as if he'd come to a conclusion, he pulled the woman close once again and whispered in her ear, "Me too, Julie. Me too."