River Mist Tales: The Deer

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

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The Deer

On the third night in her new home, Ellie walked into the backyard as the day slipped into night, and watched the moon rise, silver and illuminating.

The tree shadows were deep, the darkest of blue black, tinged with a ghostly silver halo.

All the brilliant colors of the day faded into shades of gray, silver and endless blacks, touched by cold pale blues.

A soft breeze stirred the leaves, rubbing branch against branch, mostly empty twig against twig.

Looking back towards the large deck, the long row of windows, Ellie caught a glimpse of herself, and someone else too.

Starring hard at the darkened glass, Ellie thought she saw a woman, a tawny woman with long chestnut hair, wearing a layered gown, color drained, ruffled by the breeze as if made of leaves.

But when she turned, looking where the woman should be standing, Ellie saw only a shy, slow moving deer.

Shaking her head, she decided the reflected light, the smiling moon, the trees, the unfamiliar surroundings were conspiring, fooling her eye, enraging her imagination.

Breathing in the night scent of her secretive backyard, Ellie gave a brief prayer of thanks, and walked back inside the unlit cottage.

On the fourth night, again as the day slipped into the night, the sun’s last bright light forceful as it dipped low, a doe appeared at the back edge of the yard, standing in full relief, afront the tall line of night filled evergreens.

Ellie stepped through the door onto the deck, stood still, slowly she turned to face the cottage, keeping her back to the deer, watching the doe’s reflection in the windows, watching the reflection as the doe walked across the back yard, until the reflection stopped and the doe raised her head, looking towards the cottage, towards Ellie.

The night pulled down her veil, the reflections becoming soft and unfocused, angling herself for a better view, when her eyes returned to the window, instead of the deer, Ellie saw the tawny woman once more reflected in the the darkened glass, and moving with graceful step towards the cottage.

 

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