Luned Alone

Summer was budding, and the long hours of the day afforded Luned a fair share of lasting sunlight after the completion of her chores. The sun was nestled in the trees, and the sky was beginning to hint at peach and pink, but she knew she had enough time before nightfall. With her basket tucked under her arm, Luned strolled leisurely across her master's gardens, taking in the sweet fragrances of the blossoming flowers and fruit. She paused a moment at a cherry tree to admire the perfect fruit hanging from its branches.

"I would love to eat you all up, lovely cherries, but I am afraid I must leave you be, for you aren't mine to taste. But one... yes, I think just one little cherry might be spared."

She plucked a lone, ripe cherry, and folded it in the cloth of her basket. She touched the tree's trunk gently, and moved along.

She walked onto the main road, picking a few daisies growing off the side as she strolled, and followed along till she came to a small dirt path into the forest. From there were many paths, some obvious, many indiscernible to all but the most keen eyes, and Luned knew a few of such paths well, and it was one of these she veered toward with a quiet, assured step, barely rustling the covering of leaves underfoot.

The trail came to a languidly flowing brook, and she sat on a mossy rock at its side.

"Good day, Sister Stream," Luned said. "You dance so prettily in the sunbeams! I brought you some gifts." Luned reached into her basket, and pulled the heads from the daisies, and tossed them one by one into the water, where they floated along the current. She watched them go by, then took a small, simple cake from her basket, and placed it on the surface of the water before it was swallowed up beneath, and bobbed along after the flowers.

"And a rare little treat, for last. You've made a thief of me, my fountain!" She took a little silver knife, and cut into the plump cherry, its juice running into the stream as she slipped the fruit into the rippling pool.

She sat for a while, watching the sun-dappled flow of the brook make its ceaseless progress. "I wonder if you will always be my lone and dearest confidant. Will I ever know another soul I can whisper to as I can to you?"

The stream answered with its steady, serene bubbling.

Luned sighed and dipped her fingertips into the cool water. "You are beautiful and constant, and I love you. But sometimes I wish I had a companion who could answer with more than a low murmur and a streak of a minnow. Ah well." She dried her hand on her skirts, and stood upon the stone. "I should be along my way before it gets dark. I am sorry I hadn't longer to spend with you, pretty one. I will come another day soon. Good evening, stream!"

She took up her basket and set back along her gently worn path, back to the main road, back to her quarters, back to her familiar life.

Behind her, the brook swelled and quickened ever so slightly as the moon approached.

The End

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