The beast jumps at your throat with gnarled teeth and ferocious expression. Years later, a memory strikes you as moonlight licks your blood-soaked hands and you realize the unbearable depth of its love. Knowing that you would kill it again, you curl up and cry.
Faces on trees look at you from distant times. The forest goes silent and you find your face among them. Somewhere very close, mites keep gnawing at your brain, a chip at a time. Sap runs down your cheeks as someone else walks away.
The husk of a woman stares at the moon, gaping at a memory she used to remember. But the weight in her chest is too much and the thing sucking from her dry breasts makes too much noise. She holds the baby with a hand made of bone and skin and plunges a rusty dager into its heart.
Silence eases a minuscule mind.
A fire has found a way into the forest. It has heard of the souls trapped there and wants to save them. Trees grow legs and jump into it by the hundreds. As it dies, the fire ponders.
A smile in the ashes.
Something stirs at the core. It dreams, but it knows no sleep.
In the morning, the crows welcome the taste of untainted flesh. Eyes blink for the last time before opening again.
A swarm of three-eyed mice scurry through the undergrowth. They have been everywhere, even in your thoughts. They were born with the forest and have been fleeing ever since. Today, one thousand and twenty-four years later, they finally reach its core.
Injured beyond understanding, the river tries to remember a time before the thing that fell from the sky. It tries to rise one last time, but its bed is long gone, as well as the rest.
The pitiful thing gurgles as it dies forever.
All the fear, all the fury, lives still within jet-black eyes. Arms like twisted branches caress your heart and leave a trail of splinters. Now, only one remains.
But one is more than enough.