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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #2311176
A crystal clear cryptid speaks to us
A Tale of Glass

         Confessions of a Cowardly Cryptid

I was happy, truly happy — once. The hubris of humanity grabbing me as I barely escaped cured me of that. The love of my life? Not so lucky. I heard that she survived her captivity for — awhile, pining away until she shattered at last. A quick painful death would've been kinder. But... humans... humans aren't kind.

I was drawn into the light. Fireflies aglow? Fairies in the snow? The cold did not daunt me. I'm not haunted; nor do I haunt.

I hide.

And the woods on a Robert-Frosty evening enticed me.

This is where she had died. I came to face my fate, to free myself of the shame and blame, to freeze or join her if necessary.

The cold enveloped me with its warmth. My home world had been colder, much colder.

The wind began to sing. It spoke of Spring, that mythical season of the distant past, the unseen future. The trees stood silent. When would they wake up? Surely not tonight, that night that lasted longer than the nano-seconds of my existence. My experience was alien to this world.

I was a mayfly in this world of eternal rocks. The rocks were not as heartless as humans though. Humans. They knew so much about the world surrounding them, little of the other worlds, nothing of where I came from.

I needn't be too careful I reminded myself. They only would see me if they looked. They weren't curious enough to consider that the shimmer was sentient, could move, could feel, knew things that for them did not exist.

My mistake last time was trying to connect. My love and I had become visible to speak to them. We soon saw their fear mirrored by our face. I winked out; but... my love was not fast enough. She froze in her opaque form. They captured and framed her as I fled. There was nothing else I could do.

And here I was, walking among tall trees, cold rocks, a landscape glistening, eager, beckoning like the sweetest poison I had ever touched.

Short Shots Image Prompt (December 2023)

The cold caressed me. I felt solid enough, transparent enough. Even the lights passed through me.

I approached silently as bells tinkled in the distance. Drawing closer, I could feel human forms frolicking in the snow. And that glow... came from buildings where my distant cousins protected humans from wind and snow. A couple of revelers went inside. I followed.

Here there was a feast of flesh, plates piled with plants and animals sacrificed for the festival of festivals, their voices snuffed as thick walls looked on. This sad dwelling was old and lifeless. The flames in the hearth, however, were chatty and spoke of other lives as branch and twig. This was their final dance and they danced as if tomorrow wouldn't come. As an ephemeral being myself, I concurred. It seldom does.

But I remained silent. My grief was focused on one lone shard of ice puddled in a corner. It was the only fragment of my love that was left.

I stared at it as if my love would recompose herself and reappear.

We, who fashioned from water, who live as mirrors, reflect the world as others see it. Every careful gaze, each glance that ripples across their countenance is reflected back by us. What they see in themselves can be frightening.

I carefully grasped the shard and hid it behind my silvered back. I left quietly to the sough of winter winds through the willow boughs, the sift of snow covering my tracks.

601 words
© Copyright 2023 Kåre Enga in Montana (enga at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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