On nights when the moon slumbers, and only the stars blanket the forest with pale silver light there's a magic that you can feel in every leaf and dew drop. From beneath the ground, to the tips of the highest trees it dances at your finger tips. It swirls like a golden dust filled with nectar's sweet laughter and buttery pull you in like the ocean's tides. The air is filled with the smell of this magic. Perfumed with wet pine and lilac and rich musty soil that gives like fresh turned earth under your bare toes. The air is crisp as new autumn, fresh like the end of a rain storm and in every reflective surface colorful flashes of the beings that make it.
You swim, drunk on the sweetness of the earth through the star spangled night. Dancing and swirling to the songs they sing in your ears as you run to catch a glimpse of their light. You see only the glittering mist on the foot steps ahead of you, but overlook the shadows were they hide and peel back their lips in too wide smiles for hooked and fanged teeth. It is there, away from the light their wings reflect, that they lead you.
On you dance with arms outstretched. Not on any path you know but can hardly care because there's music calling you more beautiful and joyful than the first warm day after long winter. The tree trunks thicken. The branches overhead weave a net in their canopy to keep the delicate night light at bay. You start to think, "Well maybe I should turn back." But the music quickens and they pull at as they fly further down the path.
"No." They say. "Only a little further. Come see, come play."
And on you dance, while they roll the ivory bones from those before you out of your path.
Brambles and thickets pull at your cloths with their branches and thorns, but you're guided on by winged peelings, and pointed, green eared men that grown in numbers the thicker the forest gets. They skip at your feet, pull at your hands, swirl in drunken confusion around your head until you can't be sure which way you already walked.
Your through a thicket of trees. It's a small sort of clearing with the canopy woven in a dome so tightly that the only light is in the glowing being that dart about jetting insects. The music is at its loudest and pulsing through your veins. The dancing endless and erotic and in the center is a towering tree with roots twisted at its base into a bowl to catch each rainfall.
You still don't see them stalking in the shadows like shadows themselves.
"Yes." The click their pointed gingers together. "Peer into the waters."
The entire forest if reflected in the still pool. Smooth as glass, clear as though a window to another world. So beautiful and timeless that you draw in closer to the gold dust that glitters at its edges. Over the surface your fingers hang, timid to test the reality of the quiet water. Nearly there, the cold of it creeps up to caress your skin like timid vines. Closer you lean, until the moisture is tasted on your tongue like cold early morning dew.
Just one finger pts the surface. The water ripples and the light shudders before, one by one, they go out, leaving nothing but the echo of their laughter haunting the air. The woods grow silent and still. The wind blows cold and wet off the dirt, soft as thick moss.
"Hello?" You ask, but the creatures of magic don't answer you back. Only the wind whispers through the leaves, "You should have turned back."
But the thicket grew tighter together between the trees. Like a thorned cage around the clearing and no matter how hard you press forward, it pushed you back until all you can do is tear at the branches and scream.
There is a small giggle at your back and by the roots of the tree flutters a tinny light that draws you back to the pool. You kneel by it and the tinny light leaps beneath the water. It glows like a full moon within, and in the reflection you see the sticks in your hair and the rips in your cloths and you ask, "How long have I been here?"
Hunger is a crippling pain that gnaws on your body and thirst cracked you lips to hard bone.
"Come here." The pool calls. As it trickles through the roots you can hear the music far off beneath it the laughter of a distant party. You lean closer. A warm, golden hand reached through the surface. It caresses your hollow dirt covered cheek, pets your hair and draws you in with the mist of magic that once glittered in the now dark forest. You follow it into the pool, leaving behind your dressed bones in the shadows of the gnarled tree roots.
The thicket loosens its woven fingers between the trees. The pool stills and darkens and, in the distance the music laughs again with another leaps and bounds in timeless glee to the fairies' gate.