The clearing is dim.
A full moon has just started rising and the edges of the woods throw weak shadows of their presence.
In those deep shadows, she sits and waits.
The ritual is nightly, long and lonely, she’s seen it before.
She's tense, jittery and her insides hungry.
Yet her hunger is not physical, it goes much deeper.
On the far side of the clearing rests a small lake banked by high rocks and surrounded by tall thick trees.
Now the moon has fully left her resting place and shines brightly, casting full shadows.
At the edge of the lake on the highest rise a figure moves slowly towards the edge of the water.
She raises her head to sniff the air.
Is it ?
Yes..it's you - pounds her heart, with possible excitement.
She takes a careful step backwards, so as to not disturb the moment and watches
as he climbs to the highest point of the rocky edge, his figure is a silhouette against the great moon as he sniffs the air,
as if sensing that he's not alone.
Meanwhile, a fog settles on the lake, light and whisperer.
She edges further into the shadows to witness the ritual and remembers a moment in her young past
when it was routine to play in meadows and not think about what was expected of them.
He stands and looks around him thinking, knowing his responsibility, feeling his heart stripped.
His spirit is dieing.
He only wants to walk away.
Something is missing in his life.
The emptiness in his soul is as vast as the night,
the loneliness in his heart as deserted as the clearing.
He eyes the night sky, the moon shining so brightly, and looks around him.
This is my home, this is where I live and hunt.
Why is it such a stranger to me?
Again he looks towards the night sky as if expecting some kind of an answer,
and there he sees a glimmer- the evening star winks back at his gaze.
That ancient celestial being knows he’s not alone.
She turns her head to the strange, yet so familiar sound and it draws her towards him, as it did the first time she heard him,
stepping forward into the silvery glow of the moon light pushing the bushes and the sleeping flowers aside,
white petals of roses softly floating around her.
She watches him speak to the night sky.
He raises his head and brings forth a low but strong sad howl and it echo's off the hill sides and down the valley.
Again he repeats the sound, not knowing why he makes the call although it does seem to help ease a longing he's felt for so long.
Indeed, in the past it used to help with the pain, but not anymore...
Why can’t the spirits hear my plea? - he asks the twinkling star.
Going back in time, she remembers a night like this, the very first time she came upon this lake and
witnessed him standing alone upon the rocky hill, the sound of his howl chased away by the night.
Then too, the sight of him had taken her breath away.
She had felt something familiar and it had frightened her.
That time, she had been too late.
That time, Time wouldn’t have let her stay.
Perhaps this time, Time was playing a different game.
So, this time, she asks Time - Will you let me love him ? How many lifetimes will it take ?
Why, should I let you? - Time replies - Tell me...
And, she desparately wants to say - Because he's my soulmate! - Can't you see?!
But...her throat goes dry...and not a word comes out...
Why am I...so scared? - she thinks - maybe if...
And, instantly she looks towards the lake..hoping...wondering...confused...
But it's to late.
He is no where to be seen...