No and Yes

Her humming stopped, and his heart hammered in his chest. He scraped his cheek along the marble to press his ear against her mouth.

She wanted to call out, but she waited…one more second. The smoky face coalesced from the dark. Still, she held her breath afraid she might blow the fragile apparition away.

He wanted to press down on her back, to squeeze the breath from her lungs, but he waited…one more second. She gave him nothing. No admonition. No absolution. Not even a final gasp.

The raven man grinned at her, his teeth glinting moist like the mouth of the hungry wolf that has just spotted the frightened rabbit.

The sun scraped over the tops of the cedar trees, whitening the tall pale stones, and his lips formed a voiceless, “no!” He slipped from the marble and ran. The unshorn grass clutched at his ankles and he ran. The sun followed him with its accusing light and he ran. The terror of her still pent final breath snarled at his heels and he ran in zigzags across the garden of headstones.

She stared into the black eyes of the raven man.

“Stay with me,” he grinned.

She smiled, and her breath escaped like a cat into the night.


The End

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