The white light of the white moon is reflected on the black water of the black lake. A wide forest of pine trees, dark silhouettes against the bright sky, surrounds the glade that lies silent and untouched. The tips of the trees are moving slightly in the wind like brushes that are painting the contours of the milky way with barely visible color.
It gets colder.
The snow that now falls from invisible clouds glows silber in the moonlight. It covers the leaves on the ground in a cold, soft coat of ice that promises death and rebirth at the same time. A girl, young and of beautiful appearance, turns up between the trees and walks slowly over the snow towards the water. Her hair, black as the lake and her skin, white as the moon seems almost as unreal and insubstantial as the moonlight itself. Even if the air is cold as ice she doesn’t seem to freeze. Her breath doesn’t paint any clouds of smoke in the velvety sky and her naked feet don’t leave any prints in the freshly fallen snow. She walks towards the shore of the lake where she gets on her knees. Then she rises her head and the moonlight falls on her face, illuminates every single part of her facial features and goes right into her soul. She closes her eyes, the moonlight is flowing around her fragile body like a second layer of skin. Her whole figure is shining from inside. She opens her full, sensual lips and a noise that sounds like the incarnation of the cold itself resounds through the wintery forest.
The snowfall gets stronger and crusts of frost are chasing over the lake.
The hunter who is hidden not far away from her behind a tree watches her fascinated. He devours her with his eyes, greedy, intoxicated by her power.
Her beauty is blending him, but he knows his orders.
A shoot explodes and the brutal sound breaks the complete silence of the calm forest. Sparkling snow crystals trickle from black branches.
The white snow turns red.
The sun slowly arises over the hills and quickly gains strength. Her sun beams are gently touching the tips of the gras on the fields, caress it, embrace it, fondle it full of affection and playfully chase away the shadows of the night. Then, after exploring all shapes and curves of the gras, the sun beams touch the boy who is standing still at the edge of the forest.
As the light touches him, he seems to grow. If he looked weak, sick and bend before, the sun straights up his spine and draws a glorious smile on is angelic face. His eyes, shining in all shades of green, open up wide and finally he sees. He rises up his arms, following his breath, lies his hands on his mouth and emits a call that contains everything and nothing at the same time. It sounds like the polish plash of an awakening stream, like sweet bird voices, barely audible rustling of leaves in a mild breeze, like the warmth and the life, that the sun brings, future and awakening after a long sleep.
Like an orchestra the voices of nature awake. Energetic waves, starting from the boys body, flow evenly into nature. The field is covered with light green, the promise of a rebirth, growth and the scent of upcoming times of happiness. Petals, opening and stretching towards the sun, kissed by the morning due, shine in all different colors and spread tiny light reflections all over the ground.
Somewhere, a bird calls and the sun gets warmer.
But before the call ends, a loops drops around the throats of the boy.
The hunter, who sits on the branch above him, pulls the loop tight and the promising call dies with a wheezing sound.
The waves of the sea are playing softly around her naked feet. The white of the water touches he toes gently, moving slowly in the smooth sand. Her dark skin stands in big contrast to the blonde hair, which falls in soft curls all the way over her back. Full of love she looks out of the sea, counting waves and searching for the blurring line of the horizon.
She observes the sun. As it reaches the zenith her white teeth are blinking between her dark, full lips as she starts to laugh. A powerful noise that tells stories of hot nights, sweaty bodies, passionate feelings in heat and storm. Stories about the absolute overload of nature, no lack of nothing, times of abundance and ecstasy, desperate love with the knowledge of the imminent end. Stories about just being, following the flow of life like a butterfly in the wind, simple presence and peace of mind. Her hair starts to dance in a soft breeze, flowing over her naked body. The happiness, joy and passion she spreads is almost touchable.
An odor of fresh flowers, heat and salt fills the air. The sun gains on power, the waves get stronger while heavy clouds appear on the sky. Like castles made out of water particles, massive and diffuse at the same time, the clouds rise up building towers, bridges, gardens full of exotic plants, winding paths and secret spots, confusing and captivating. The sun bathes everything in an unreal light. Colors are getting stronger, gain in luminosity and intensity.
The hunter moves slowly closer over the beach. Her laugh dies and silence covers the scenario in a coat of malaise and fear.
She looks at him with eyes that reflect millions of years. These eyes are too old for her young face.
The hunter, untouched by her beauty and her naked body, smiles. His smile is full of greed, hate and obsession with power. A knife flashes, but the sea carries away the blood as soon as it touches the sand.
The light disappears as soon as the sun goes down behind the mountains. The peaks on which hardly any snow can be seen, are glowing golden in the last light of the day. Mountain flanks fall steeply into deep valleys that had to say goodbye to the warming light of the sun hours ago. The soft wind that blows is still weak and warm. The face of the boy who waits till the shadow touches him is still and without any expression. He knows his fate. Even if the sunshine still caresses his cheeks his eyes are filled with roaring shadows and a sweetish smell of decay and death envelops him.
He takes a deep breath.
As he inhales, the grasses in the meadow seem to lose color, whereas the trees in the forest exchange the lush green of their leaves for friendly and soft shades of yellow, red and brown. Earthy scents floating the air with aromas of memories of past days, days of crystalline snow, fresh blooming buds or burning heat that dries out the surface of the plants. Past days, filled with the bitter sweet promise of a slow, creeping ending.
Then he sighs.
The mountains amplify the noise a thousand times louder. Wind comes up and tugs on the dark hair of the boy. Rain is in the air and grey, stormy clouds gather in the sky. Just before they swallow the mountain peaks an icy fluff appears on the bare rock. Colorful leaves swirl through the air painting confusing spirals and tempting figures of seductive shapes.
As he sees the Hunter, he smiles.
So the autumn died and man celebrated his final victory over nature. After he was tired of celebrating it became silent.
Silent because nothing was alive.
Only then, in the last of all moments, the man understood that his victory was not a victory. The victory was only his death.
Katharina Andrea Ender