Far and away, in a place some do not speak of, lives a woman with black eyes and an empty soul. Flocks of birds, black and grim, hover over her as she treks through the grass, searching for her next victim or prey. Her tastes are exact; her desires are not those spoken at random.
And alone, she lives there in the hollow of the forest. Walking for herbs, singing for rain; her heart strong and her mind fearless. Others have tried to appease her, tried and failed to lift her heart. Some have longed to share in her delights, but her scorn is that of the fire within the earth. She is cold, and above all, unwilling to share.
Though, her desires are immense, even when her mind begs for solitude; her heart longs for a warmth she once felt long ago. As she searches the trees for a sign of his presence, she is reminded of the delicacy of mortals. They are virile, yet so easily broken. Her words scorch their ears and her fingers bring pain. She may want intimacy, but her fate keeps her alone.
So she lingers, awaiting the one whom she could never hurt. His stride is firm and his eyes sharp. She searches for his loose mane and his unyielding shoulders. The night brings her peace, yet also clouds her mind. She sees him as her lids close slowly. She wakes bewildered by his absence.
Most of her time is spent conjuring for the mother. The woman hears her call, and then tends to the nature of her earth and her sea. She shows gentleness to the small creatures above and below; she listens to the needs of the plants and the flowers as they flourish; and she waits, and she waits.
But one day, while evading the snow and the encroaching cold, she hears the sorrow of a man far from her home. Her heart is broken by his sobbing; her breath shuttered by the evening glow of twilight. But she is brave, and she calls to the voice hidden deep in the thick and the shadows. And it returns.
Her desire is strong, as is his, leading her to find him in the gray. Between them came years of solitude, though now they stand face to face. Her fingers grace his cheek and he feels no pain. Her words envelope him and he feels no heat.
And he, a presence of strength and tenacity, overpowers her will for intimacy. His gaze alone brings her to her knees. His touch—his cloaked fingers—sear her skin and bring her tears. She is weakened by his power, and she unable to plea for her life.
So, in the hollow of the forest, where the lone woman lived and loved for many years, a new being ceased control. His soul is not empty, but filled with grief; his eyes are not black, but absent in disbelief. He walks the land, searching for his counter—a being he can trust not to bring him harm. She is there, lurking in the dark, hiding from his preying eyes.