> jumping into life.

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It woke us in the night. Far off at first, so far that only the flashing flashing flashing of the lightning came through, no thunder rumble to follow. But soon we could hear it, feel it in our chests and blood. Soon it came close.

Half awake, half blinded by the flashing flashing lightning, I half-dreamt that I saw him, tree-legged, splay-armed, stalking. I could see him in the woods above us, tangle-haired, grin-toothed, circling. Soon he came closer. The lightning herded him, goaded him, a beacon compelling him to follow, a siren light lashed tight to his heart and blood. It pulled me, too, pulled me upright in bed, naked body flashing flashing flashing when the lightning lit. I watched him in my mind, his tree-legs crashing, his endless yearning following every strike. Once he almost caught her, his footsteps so close so loud he must have been right on top of her, reaching his moss-hands, his barnacle-hands, his storm-hands out to touch her, finally, to hold that gleaming burning brightness, and I wondered why she chose just here to let him find her, just here above my half-wild head my half-wild heart where the darkness shook and shook with his running steps,

but she got away. She slipped away from him again, and then her brightness flash flash flashed far ahead of him, and he followed, he followed as he always must, she ran as she must, and soon his rumble passed out of hearing and my trembling self fell back into the pillows, fell back, finally, into the broad silence of sleep.