Northern lights. [short story]

Here is a link to the to prompt, if you also want to take part in the isolation journals that Suleika Jaouad hosts on her instagram page. I highly recommend it!

I started it late so I’m currently on day 6, but the timing really doesn’t matter. You can join me in the late team if you want!

Okay, without further ado- put this song on as a soundtrack and come with me to wherever I went when I closed my eyes.

“It’s late and the air is cold as it fills my lunges, but I don’t care.

I should be asleep but this strange beckoning from deep within has me wide awake and the crispness of this dark world makes me feel widely alive.

I don’t know quite what I’m expecting to see when I get to the opening. All I know is- something is there, and it’s calling me. Both my white nightgown and my bare feet are wet from the evening dew, and the damp moss sends continual, small shivers up my spine.

I get through the last of the pines and stop to look closely at the plain field in front of me. The thick covering of fog makes it look as mystical as this strange night feels. It’s beautifully still and yet the energy is electric. There’s something in the air.

I take a few steps out, the tickling feeling in my stomach ever intensifying, and that’s when I see it. I’m not alone after all.

Deep in the fog, so deep it’s outlines are almost erased, stands a stag, and his gaze is fixed on me. I expect him to run away at the sight of me, but he doesn’t. That’s when I understand- he’s been waiting for me. Called to me, as I was called to him. He’s waiting, so I go.

We run across the field and the fog has me quickly soaked to the bone. Without hesitation he continues, up the hill, aiming for the top. My lunges are burning and my legs aching, but there is no way I would ever turn around now.

He quickly stops to look back for a second, as if to make sure I’m still following, but then he just carries on relentlessly. He hops behind a boulder and I’m almost sure I’ve lost him, but then I get to the other side of it and suddenly I’m the one who’s found.

We’ve arrived at a big plateau, and it’s filled to the brim with deer. The air should be thin up here but it feels thicker than ever. Every eye is on me and breathing feels like an insult to the sacred stillness that reigns.

It’s been a cloudy night, but now the sky is parting and a bright moon illuminates us all, gifting each with a sharp shadow as company. As if on command, every creature present turns to face the light, and something suddenly glimmers among them. It’s a pool of water, not big at all, but it seems to capture the moon, making itself a home.

What happens next I couldn’t have made up in my wildest dreams and will probably never see again.

The deer are all, one by one, drawn to the pool, as metal to a magnet, until they have formed a perfect circle. Then they start to what I can only describe as dance, and every leap and step and jolt takes my breath away until I’m sure I’m about to run out. I quickly become powerless against the force pulling my body towards the center, so I give up and give in.

And we dance. We dance and move with the full moon and the light dances with us. First in white, then in color, and then it fills the sky.

Suddenly we’re not human and beast or even individual creatures on a journey- we are one, and every time our bodies move in synergy another wave of light travels through the sky. Blue for elegant movements, green for joyful and red for when our dance feels like a war cry- as if we’re calling for heaven itself to come down and join us.

I don’t know why I’m here or why whoever or whatever called me here wanted me to take part in whatever this is, but it doesn’t matter. Not anymore.

All my previous need to make sense of everything and control life was left at the bottom of that hill and I don’t intend to ever pick it back up again. If I even get back down. I don’t know and right now, I don’t care.

All I know is- I need to keep dancing.

And I will never again doubt the presence of magic.”


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