2011 Fiction

DIANA, GODDESS OF THE HUNT

I gazed across at the lightly sleeping woman curled up in the chair in front of the hearth.  The flickering glow of the fire gently bathed her delicate face in a soft, warm hue.  Her full lips curved in a sweet smile and I wondered what she was dreaming.  Of me, perhaps?  As I looked at her, my heart swelled with tenderness and memories flooded through me.

It seemed to me that I had loved her all my life, or at least from that first traumatic day when we had met and travelled together for many hours:  it was my first time away from home, away from my mother, away from my family and I was very scared and lonely but she had put her arms around me, held me tight and whispered words of comfort to me as her lips caressed my hair.  And I?  I had buried my face in her neck and delighted in the feel of her smooth, silky satin skin, and I drank in the scent of her until the feel of her, and the smell of her, was imprinted on my senses for all time.  In that moment, I had known with a certainty that she was mine – as I was hers – forever.

At first life was very strange and even a little frightening:  everything was so different, so new, and there was so much to learn.  She became my teacher, my rock, my support, my protector, my comfort, and my love.  We spent many happy hours together – talking together, learning together, exploring nature and revelling in the delights of the warm spring sunshine followed by the hot summer sun; the susurrating breeze gently caressed us as our love blossomed.  We were young; we looked forward to winter with joy and it seemed that we would be young and happy forever.

As time passed, and we grew older, I no longer spent my nights alone:  her bed was warm and inviting; we were cocooned in our nest of feathers and down, my body touching her body – infused with joy.  My nights with her were bliss:  I slept deeply, dreamlessly – safe with my love.

I sighed deeply and wondered if I should wake her.  The fire had grown low and only the embers still glowed a rich, ruby red; it was cold outside.  I yawned, then slowly stood up, arched my back, stretched my sore muscles and flexed my aching joints.  Quietly I padded over to the window and stared through the glass.  It was nearly time.

The full, Wolf moon hung low and luminous in the midnight sky, casting long, blue shadows over the sparkling white ground.  The still, night air was crisp and clear.  Brilliant diamonds winked across the Universe as the Milky Way trailed its path through the heavens:  a perfect night for The Hunt.

I turned and walked back to the sleeping woman.  “Darling”, I whispered, and gently touched her knee.  She stirred but did not wake.  More insistently this time, and slightly louder, again I murmured, “Darling” into her ear and softly blew onto her cheeks.  “Mmmmmm”, she murmured, “that’s nice,” and stretching languidly, slowly opened her eyes and gazed into mine; a radiant smile lit her face as gently she clasped me to her.

“You are a clever pussy cat, aren’t you, my love?  Purring in my ear to wake me up.  What do you want, darling?  Are you hungry?” she asked tenderly, “You can have some supper but you’re a naughty girl, Diana, to even think of going hunting on a winter’s night at your age.  You know, you need to learn to grow old gracefully, don’t you, my love?  Come along then, darling, I’ll make a “hottie” while you have your supper and then we can snuggle down together in bed.”

“Oh, yes,” I sighed, “Purrfect.”

Word count 645

Category:  Fiction:  2nd Place New Zealand Writing Contest 2011 – Nissa

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