It was nearly dark when she arrived. Sinking to the riverbank, she wrapped her arms around her drawn-up legs and rested her head on her knees, and stared sightlessly out at the water as tears slipped down her cheeks. Quietly, she whispered her secrets, unburdening herself of pain she carried, giving it to the swirling water near her feet.
I want to to hush her–in fact, I try. But my voice is swallowed by the burbling river and the hiss of the breeze through the branches. She doesn’t hear me. Instead, she moves closer, and I cringe as her tears fall, further dampening the ground. Soon, she’d be theirs.
She’s younger than I was when I first started coming to the river. But age has never mattered to them. They cared only for pain, and they would feed on hers, as thoroughly as they’d fed on mine.
I tried again to reach her. To make her hear me. See me. See what she’ll become if she stays. But it’s clear that she only recognizes the reeds that were once my fingertips.
The river is in my roots and in my veins. In my despair, I let it envelop me, let it devour my pain, never realizing the water and the things that live there were never offering comfort. I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve been human. But I do know that she hasn’t got much longer.
That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out Kris‘ story, too.