The silence was full.
The old monk let himself float down the river on the current, staring at the sky, anxious to be alone. He waited until he made out the old mine’s shadows. He paddled to the shore and pulled off his wet clothes, wringing them over the river and then hanging them off the rocks. He stood letting the wind move over his wet skin, drying it.
I’m not done, said a voice behind him, a voice he knew too well. He turned, to see a young doe on the hill over the mine’s buildings.
He looked to see if she cast a shadow, but the clouds overhead made it indistinct.
She moved with careful slowness and then came to a stop in front of him, ducking her sleek head towards his hand. He shut his eyes. Her tongue licked his thumb.
I’m not done. Not done with you, my love. A hand moved over his cheek.
He opened his eyes. His wife stood there, naked also, the doe gone. Fear filled him. A river spirit, he thought. Or, a fox. But not her. And yet it was the scent of her, even her habit of taking his hand to her mouth with a sly smile and kissing the tip of his thumb.
The other monks began shouting his name. There was no time. He gripped her face in his hands, leaned in for the kiss.
We’re playing consequences, where a series of writers writes 250 words, set in an abandoned landscape, each using the last line of the previous writer. I’m the 8th. Next up:
Previously: Sam J. Miller, followed by Jade Park, Jane Voodikon, Lisa Silverman, Anna Shapiro, Mark Krotov and Wah Ming Chang.
Yes: so playful, in more ways than one. This, and your accompanying song that I’ve set on repeat, has put a smile on my face.
This is the SHIZNIT. Having read wmc’s last line, you took it somewhere unexpected. (fave line, also very unexpected but a very welcome surprise as a reader: “Her tongue licked his thumb.”)
This is great, Alex!