Reflected – Gari Eberly

Amber thicket reflected in the pools of her amber eyes

dart left

dart right

– there –
a sliver of something silver, unnatural:
death in a worn orange jacket.

Thick snow around her ankles drags her down,

covers her in a shivering blanket of icicles and frost,

clouds her vision and blocks her path.

In front of her, a barricade,
constructed from dead
branches and bramble.
Behind her, an open door.
In his hands, a key.
Turns around, too late.

Wrought lightning pierces frigid air, screeching, screaming, arching through the broken sky like a

Too late.

Her knees hit

and the rest of her body

                       follows.

A heap on the ground:
a mound of tawny clothes
abandoned on the roadside.
And in that moment she remembers:

Matted velvet fur, bloody, scrapped, tree trunks and crowned kings. The smell of cloves and wild-flowers and the taste of crisp apples between her stout teeth. Drinking up water from the dewy grass and resting in damp beds of leaves during a rainstorm, but the water is scarlet and leaks out of the corners of her eyes and

drip

drip

drip

The crimson waterfall slowly

dries up.

Footsteps

closer        closer       closer

   then silence.

He rips, tearing through the bloody flesh like the arrow tore through the sky and sees himself

reflected in her dull onyx eyes.

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