Moonlight reveals the character within. -Intellectual Shaman
I was running in the early morning, but you could hardly call it morning, it was pitch black with the stars overhead. The country brushed up against the city, and I ran in the in-between place where the trail connected nature with the constructions of men. Even in my limited years, I’ve learned that the in-between places are full of sorcery and magic, but I wasn’t expecting to find that on the suburban trail.
There was the occasional elk or owl, and a bear prowling trash cans. I didn’t know what to do if I ran across something wild—probably just run away, I thought. It was a windy night, and a wild morning, when I went for my routine run. There were these lights on the trail, the most unusual lights you ever saw. They were like lighthouses, projecting into the night, and the other lights were green ropes floating in mid-air. It was like a cult of light. I soon realized they belonged to runners and their dogs; they always giggled when they passed.
It was difficult to see them, and then one ran under a lonely street light. She walked onto the trail with her golden retriever, then stopped and stared at me. She was perfect. I don’t mean the type of perfect that goes to the gym, although she was fit, but I mean her posture and face and body held a symmetry that is not found in nature. Her energy projected fierce independence, which I found attractive, like gold to a greedy man. I looked at her dog, expecting to see the same, but he looked defeated.
“Morning,” I said.
I didn’t know what to say next.
“You keep fit,” she said.
“Thanks, but the Thai food has different plans.”
She laughed, a high-pitched cruel laugh that was sexy.
It was below freezing, and I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes, but I just wanted to keep standing there anyway, staring into her green eyes. I was frozen, and might’ve actually froze if she hadn’t intervened.
“Here’s my number,” she said. “This little guy needs his exercise; I think he’s feeling down. Remember, call me.” And she disappeared into the night. Her dog ran behind her, attached to his green leash. He kept looking over his shoulder at me; it was a pleading look, but I didn’t give him much thought.
My dinner date that afternoon was with a normal woman. It was an online date, and when she sat down, I knew I was in trouble. Her picture was big, but she was even bigger, so much so that I worried I wouldn’t have enough money to pay for her food. Dessert rolled around and she wanted more.
I started drinking.
“You don’t get out much, do you?” She asked.
It was a fair guess; after all, it was an online date.
“Not much,” I said.
“It shows,” she criticized between mouthfuls of vanilla ice-cream.
I was starting to feel sick. I was a writer, and the conversations I had with myself always went better than this. I got the check; it was in the triple digits. She burped.
“So, your place?”
“I think I have some laundry to do,” I lied.
“Suit yourself, but you don’t know what you’re missing.”
I had an imagination, but I did everything to shut it down. Instead, it drifted to the girl I met on the trail, 777-5555. “Strange number,” I muttered.
“Would you like to go for dessert?”
I was expecting her to say, “It’s short notice.”
But she said, “Yes!”
I picked her up in my truck. She smelled like strawberries, and she wore a green dress with red lipstick. The night was young, and I was feeling much older. She was having an effect on me, every time she spoke, which wasn’t very often.
I dropped her off and she asked me, “Would you like to come up, and have some tea?”
Sure, I wanted some tea.
“Let me go freshen up a bit,” she said.
I waited… I was going to get lucky, but I had no idea.
I looked down at her dog, to give it sympathy, and right when the moon reflected across its face, I saw a man tethered there, to her bed post.
My dinner jumped out of my mouth.
“I don’t know if you’re into dominance and submission, but I have a collar for you to wear,” she said.
I was gone.
I stopped running for a while and going on online dates. I ate Thai food for a month to calm down, but it didn’t work. I was done with witches and women for at least six months.