Sing, my forest. Sing, groans. Sing, snapping. Sing life and wild, sing trees, sing limbs that course and bend thick with sap and soil-blood. Sing, my child. Sing, my sweet love and dirt and life. Sing, sweet death, sing, sing.
Find *Robert Jordan. Find Robert Jordan in my forest among my kind limbs and find his breath, find his breathing through thick growth and his steps delicate upon the paths of tender dirt and find these paths great in number that wind as veins through the forest body.
Find* Ofelia. Find Ofelia in my forest among my kind limbs and find her breath, find her breathing through thick growth and her steps delicate upon the paths of tender dirt and find these paths great in number that wind as veins through the forest body.
Robert Jordan and Ofelia sit upon the stump of a dead tree in the depths of a clearing in the forest. The stump is monumental in size. The diameter of the stump is that of a building. Robert Jordan and Ofelia used hatchets to make gashes into steps in the side of the stump and in this way climbed to the top. The top of the stump has been worn smooth like glass. The forest surrounds the clearing in its thickness and is heavy in every direction and curves up above them and to the center like a temple would and the top of this temple is many hundred feet above them. Robert Jordan and Ofelia sit on top of the stump and in the center, facing opposite directions, his back touching hers and her back touching his, rigid, perfect posture, legs crossed, their respective hatchets bridging the gap between their respective knees, blades shining in a dull silver light that hangs about their forest’s temple as any fog hangs about any forest. In the forest surrounding them hang many mossy vines. The vines weave through the trees and connect them and carry themselves through each other as webs though without order. Robert Jordan and Ofelia see the silver light illuminate the edge of the forest around them and the trees and vines there and they are sure the pattern continues through the deep forest though they cannot see into it fully. In the deep of the forest around them through the silver fog hang hundreds of small red lights that sit at every different level in the forest from the forest floor up through the canopy many hundred feet above them. The small red lights look as small eyes do and are perfectly circular though do not appear so in the silver light. The red eyes glint as far-away lights do when these lights are out of focus and so have the same dagger-shaped spires that extend from the center and outward in various numbers. They eyes reflect into and off of the hatchets and stretch themselves along the length of the blades. Ofelia opens her mouth slightly to speak. Robert Jordan knows her mouth has opened. Robert Jordan knows her breath comes from the forest and knows that with its drawing she also draws in the silver light of the clearing and the small red lights of the eyes around them and small parts of the forest suspended in their midst. Ofelia ventures to speak and invites these things to enter and live within her and that in her body, though only slightly, is where part of the life of those things now reside. Ofelia knows what Robert Jordan knows. Ofelia continues to speak: