xxv. Crown Of The Black Fall Boughs
Sprinkled in a light gown of snow, French’s Forest seemed unusually still and serene that early morning. It was calm.
The leafless crown of the black fall boughs made a thick, thorny canopy to keep the ether’s angels out―skewering the sleek sky with so many crooked limbs.
Normally there were restless spirits about—flitting at the stray fringes—but not so this dawn. There was just a tense, cold calm—like the silence between lovers letting go, as night and day traded places.
French’s Forest had seen more than anything else alive—yet it never uttered a word of what it knew. Rather, the wood just whistled nonsensically between its trees—or babbled meaninglessly on its brooks—or mischievously evoked strange visions in folk—of indecipherable import.
Its limbs clawed up at the cosmic lights like a mob of mindless skeletons, all clamoring to just once touch the vast and vital altar of an infinite—yet seemingly insentient canopy of stars. The deep cold universe reflected forest’s silence, itself its own treasure of untapped mute wisdom.
On every lonely dead leaf, unclear whispers from other dimensions tittered. In every terrestrial dormant bud, foreign forces from other worlds urged a future bloom. In every tangled, twisted root, astral arms reached in from spirit realm. Along every winding trail ghostly feet fell.
The weald never broke its natural silence and the stars never broke their promises to mystery. But both were in fact full of the fires of life—though neither born for human ears. They spoke only in tongues, patterns past terran—eons beyond the muddy dregs of earthly words.
Now, Seven often sensed the gravitas of their messages—but he never positively got through to the logic behind their throbbing, twinkling veils—despite intense study. Even being half-vampire, he could ultimately only guess as to their truest spirits and eternal truths witnessed.
But when the ghouls were afoot—that was different—for the enchanted place then became truly alive. Even the common man could see the faery’s flight.
Every walk of magic and mystery could be found there―past the blue leaves of dusk—if you had two ears tuned well enough into the finer frequencies of life.
He found himself now missing French’s Forest. He would rather it go on being every good and evil thing he had ever remembered—than a soulless husk.
Faye would grow terribly jealous, he knew in his heart, and possibly try to intervene—but he had no choice, he had to show Eva how he truly genuinely felt.
(Author’s Note: If you are enjoying The Silverskin, you can buy the full 400 page Revised & Expanded 10th Anniversary edition paperback here. Forever Yours In French’s Forest, Rian Torr)