"Soon." The word was repeated not so much to him but to herself, as if saying it would somehow make it true. Soon. She does not move from her spot as she watches him leave, his white and blue retreating into the early morning mist.

Rain sits quietly for a long time. Her body is completely still; she scarcely breathes. The leftover warmth from the spot next to her dissipates into the air. The spring gurgles quietly, and birds rouse from sleep. Round, whole hoof prints dance in the moss with pointed, dainty cloven marks. Soon they'll fill in with green. Was letting him go a horrible mistake? She feels utterly alone.

"... will he really come back?" The question hung in the air, directed at nobody in particular.

Come back... she could have gone with him. The way in and out of this grove is overgrown from underuse. Vines and branches obscure the weed-choked path. Not many kin come out here. They probably wouldn't even know that she was here if it wasn't for the rumors of a pale doe and a barren queen. Should she have gone with him? But...

The gentle touch of Persimmon's clubbed antennae rouse her from her thoughts. Rain noses the wasp gently, grateful for the company. Does the insect ever long for others of her own kind? Endless black eyes keep it a secret. Rain looks back out over the river, and for the first time, wonders where it goes.

~ fin ~


followed by Return