Junk Drawer Logo Junk Drawer

For all those little papers scattered across your desk

Free-write—Infinite Forest

Written 18 Apr 2017 by D. Ben Knoble

She is walking through a forest, a forest frozen in time. Red-gold leaves float still, not fluttering as she brushes them with her hand nor stirring as the white train of her dress drags across the ground. The sun is warm against her bare back, exposed by the low cut of the dress. Her own golden brown tresses lay against her back, caressed by the sunlight but dancing in no wind. The white lace of her sleeves curve against the top of her shoulders and float down around her wrists, widening into loose billows.

This is her life. She has been here, waiting, for a long time. Trapped amidst a beautiful Fall, frozen after a joyful Summer, dreading the coming of Winter. She drifts among the trees and the hills, blissfully relaxed and yet never quite content. Something is missing, something unknown. She drifts, frozen in time, never stopping. There is no day, no night. She sleeps not, eats not, and misses not their pleasures. Without time, without change, how could she? And yet she insists on searching, wandering aimlessly, seeking purpose, seeking that which was lost. What could it be?

In the infinities of a timeless forest, there is no lack of meadows, each as tranquilly still as the last. But this one, this one is different. It would be pointless to speak of when she wanders into it; similarly, it has no where. But it has a strangeness. At first, she stared at its flowers, seeing them little, as they are the same flowers in many of the meadows. Now she circles the edge, seeing a peculiar fraction of light, divisions in the smallest degree that shouldn’t occur at all. A glint of red here, a flash of blue there. She spirals slowly into the center, watching the flowers bend and distort, as though shards in a broken mirror depended from a mobile all around her. The refraction grew stronger as she neared the center, bright dazzling rainbows straining to leap out of the corner of her eyes and into her reality, until when finally she there arrived the entire forest was a broken fragment of color, an abstract prism of sunlight.

And he existed.

There was no “before,” no “after,” no “then.” He had no history, like her, like this place, because none here exists. If he had ever not existed, it would be impossible to say. He exists now, and thus does in the entirety of time contained here—that is, a single moment of forever.

However, he is different. Something about him isn’t her. He stares at her, and sees her. Not just her surface beauty, but her inner unchanging emptiness. And he fills her, pouring his love and his devotion into and over her, bathing her in the water she didn’t know to miss. He finds her, and she at last him! The fractured meadow erupts with a crash into an icy, reflective Winter, which swiftly was blown away by Spring. They dissolve as the world around them fades, having escaped the aimlessness of unchanging and eternal solitude. They existed there, but now they live.

Load Comments
Back to writings