The Evanescent

By: Paige Bergan

Every so often there are nights when the veil between worlds is so gauzy and thin, that travel from one to the next can happen as easily as crossing a bridge. Some of these nights follow the rigid calendar journey of the earth, moon, and sun. Others are seemingly random, when the air is completely still and the stars seem to dance in the heavens. When everything is so quiet you can hear the silence. When it feels like even the laws of gravity could be untrue and nothing is completely as it seems. This was one such night.

A young man rode swiftly through the brisk fall night. Carrying a letter of great importance, he needed to reach its destination in haste. This simple piece of paper could change his life – many lives – forever. He was impatient and anxious, but the horse needed rest if it was to make the journey, so he slowed to a walk and took in the still air, the sounds of the night, and the light of the full moon that allowed him to make this perilous trip.

In an instant everything became quiet, the sudden calm unsettled him as the horse tensed and whinnied nervously. He shuddered and shook his head as if to shake the cold fear creeping up inside him. He was enlightened, a man of reason! But however hard he tried to block them with cool calculated thoughts, the stories his grandmother used to tell him of the creatures of the Otherworld crowded the edges of his thoughts.

He was about to kick the horse into a gallop, anything to escape that feeling, when he saw her. Fleeting, unreal, the image was seared into his memory- a woman, unearthly, evanescent - wild pale hair, silver, iridescent, yet youthful. A cloak of butterflies, a myriad of fluttering sacrifices was the only color about her- lemon, vermillion, aquamarine- her marble stature was too big, too much- everything exaggerated, everything beautiful; most of all the eyes breathtaking orbs, black that was deep as the night and revealed nothing, nothing at all. Was she real? Was he mad? He had no laws to apply to her, she was not bound by the explicable assumptions of mere mortals.

Without warning, his horse reared, shrieking, he tried to hold on, but he felt himself slipping, falling, it was like leaving and returning, dying and being born. The letter slipped from his belt, never to fulfill its destined purpose, but it didn’t matter. He was free from the laws of this world – he was gone.