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EIU H.F. Thut Greenhouse

The Velvet Queen

By Steven Malehorn

The crowd that came to witness the birth had vanished and I shuttered the glaring lights. The two of us sat alone together, bathed only by the warm glow of the rising summer moon. My traveling companion, who had remained silent for seven years began to speak.

As soon as the first word was spoken, I realized it was a feminine voice! The voice was strong and powerful. The spirit was royal. I was in the presence of a young queen! I should have known by her stately dress. She wore a royal purple robe and bore a tall, golden scepter with a commanding presence. She didn't have to say another word, I instantly knew her name.

We conversed in quiet tones, whispered thoughts of life and being. We shared our words and feelings as two travelers who approached a crossroad, but must follow different paths. We spoke as kindred spirits, as though we had known each other an eternity, but must now part ways.

We sat together for the longest time in the moonlight. Her subtle and enticing perfume wafting through the night engaged my senses, drawing me irresistibly toward her. My eyes drank in the vision of her golden face illuminated brightly by the passing moon, her majestic bearing, her velvet robe - a royal cloak of regal hues, and I became intoxicated by her beauty.

But she was a child of the moon, to rise with the night and live a brief existence as the bright glow from that lunar orb rushing overhead breathed life into her ephemeral spirit.   Alas, fortune and fate had conspired to see her born on the shortest night of the year, the briefest of existence she could have. For she must leave with the morning's light.

We communed all night, but her voice slowly faded as the sun began to rise in the east. I quickly realized she would soon be lost to me. With the gathering light she rose to leave and started to wrap her velvet robe about her, against the morning chill. "I must go now," she whispered, and began to leave. I knew I could not follow after her. "When will you return?" I cried out, desperate to know.

She simply turned her head back toward me with a slightly impish grin and a sparkle in her eye, but didn’t speak another word.

As she drifted away and faded into the morning mist, I knew I would miss her dearly and count the nights until she returned. And like the ephemeral existence of the flower she gave life to for the briefest of time, she was gone.

Then I was alone again. Tears began to form rivers down my face. I bowed my head to my arms   

and wept.

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