Starlet was born in the woods. This is her subterranean memory, of deep inhalations of rich black dirt, delightful decay, the reachings and barely-moving caresses of mycelium against her in rich damp dark. Bard owls and hauntings. Coyote trickster. Fairies who came to linguist with her. Their medicine stung like burning bees, but she gladly took it to her.
"Ever and always" the fairies said. "Ever and always."
Starlet crawled up and out of the earth, and sensing the cold kiss on her neck, she carried heavy ancestry with her, always forward. "Stepping forward is such a burden," she would say to her mothers. They slapped her face. Hard. "Snap out of it," they said icily.
Once, aeons ago, Starlet tried her hand at love. This is that story.
Walking amongst the cherry blossoms, where everyone is a friend, she saw him sitting stoically under a tree. Hiding in the shadows, she looked hard at him. Sitting cross-legged with eyes closed, he was perhaps unaware of her presence. Slowly, with bare feet, she inched closer. Quietly lowering her body and wrapping the sari about her head and shoulders, she sat facing him. Unmoving, she gazed closely at his plump body and his beautiful face. Opening his eyes as if unto a dream, he looked upon her and said, "I have waited for you, sister. For thousands of years I have waited. Reciting verses from ancient manuscripts, chanting incantations, recalling from memory the Hidden Poems of Passion. Clearing my mind of unwholesome thought and denying myself food and drink. I have waited for you."
She leaned forward and kissed his warm neck, feeling as if her head had opened into limitless blue sky. And she said unto him, "Go only forward, brother."
And from that moment he would walk only forward, and all peoples of this earth, and others, would know of him.
"Ever and always," the fairies said. "Ever and always."
... to be continued