c. Broken Spectre
by Johanna May
iii. Brocken Spectre
She saw the dancing shadow as she sylphed through the trees. It span the whole of the valley, this graceful ghost swaying atop trees only finally from chest up: projected solidly at the opposite mountain wall.
For a while she admired its random soft movements. There was no beat or repetition to the spectre's dance. She looked back at the direction of the sun and started her trek. Up towards the top of the mountain where the moving shadow originated from. Her hike was brisk and intent on catching the elusive form that so fascinated her everytime she walked in these parts. Some days dreamily sitting on soft peat watching this airy incarnation until drowsy she slept.
She met a little girl emerging from a cave made from the bark of a magnificent giant tree.
"You must feel so happy seeing it always," she said.
The girl stared up at the mountain spectre and cheerfully nodded. "It's a graceful force that pushes me back to the present, how can you not look?"
"Is that why you painted eyes in all of the trees?"
"This is what I do, I have finished two mountains, I'm on to the next forest."
"Why is this so important?"
"We seek ourselves in another being to grant it our kindness, we have not learned yet that living beings do not necessarily need to look like us for us to treat them as our own. We are kin to every life source."
The girl had leaves painted all over her body where her clothes did not cover. She stood up and swayed like the mountain ghost, stripped off her clothes and faded into the forest.
Posted on 10/22/2023
Copyright © 2023 Johanna May