The wind at her ankles chilled her skin and ruffled her skirt. The mess of leaves at her feet crunched and lifted into the air. With her fingers touching each gravestone, the young woman searched for one particular name.
“You’re lonely, I can see,” she spoke over the tall and mossy stone she had chosen. “Come dance with me.”
The ground hiccupped, but settled immediately. The woman stepped back with a grin.
“Don’t fear your awakening,” she comforted, her fingers dancing along the edge of the worn stone. “Rise. Dance with me.”
Again, the ground moved. A longer burst of energy built from beneath her feet, but it rested with ease like before.
“You feel safe below the earth,” she went on. “You’re comfortable and tired. But it’s cold and dark.” The ground moved just enough for her to pause. “My arms are warm and strong. I’ll protect you. Come dance with me.”
The ground shook and split before the stone. Fresh dirt exposed; the smell was gratifying in the young woman’s nostrils. She moaned at the sensation, closed her eyes and threw back her head.
“Come dance with me,” she commanded, staring down over the grave as before. Then, with a gust of wind, she laughed out; her voice carrying over all the stones and trees in the graveyard.
The ground moved again. She tripped back; her bare feet stumbling over twigs. And then, once the earth settled, a hand rose from the dirt. The woman’s eyes filled with excitement; her hands clasped together beneath her chin in expectation.
“That’s it,” she urged tenderly. “Climb out of your turmoil and walk in the light. Join me.”
The hand continued to rise, soon the entire arm emerged. Crawling up from the shaky ground, a man lifted his eyes from under grains of dirt. The woman gazed over him, and she was elated at his decay. He may have been there for centuries, but he rose with flesh and blood. Tears on his skin marked the truth of his mortality, but she was proud of her spell nonetheless.
“Why have you brought me here?” he rasped with dryness in his throat. The woman took his hand and looked up to his eyes. “How do you command me?”
“Dance with me,” she whispered.
The man, wearing tattered clothes from long ago, pulled the young woman close and started to dance. Slowly and carefully, he moved with perfection. His timing was exact, even though the melody was only in his mind.
“Why did you call to me?” he hushed in her ear.
“I’ve searched for you,” she returned. “I’ve looked for too long, now I can’t remember the days.”
The man paused, slightly leaned away and then drove his gaze into hers. There, in her eyes, he could see something forming, like a mist or a cloud—dark and distant. Further he stared as she welcomed his curiosity. Within the mist grew two bodies. Dancing and laughing in a place unknown.
“What is this?” he murmured.
“It is you and I,” she tenderly spoke. The man turned to the grave where he slept for a length of time he could not count. “Don’t look away,” she advised. Returning to her eyes, the man could see fire erupt over the building where the bodies stood. Their hands pulled apart as smoke clouded the scene.
“Why don’t I remember?” he asked.
“It’s been a very long time,” she smiled and placed her hand on his face. “Dance with me.”
The man, uncertain of the woman and the vision she shared, stepped away. He backed toward the grave and the mound of dirt he had once called home.
“I’m comfortable in the dark,” he said, pain clearly filling his eyes. “I don’t know you.”
“You don’t want to be alone, do you?” she begged. “I don’t.”
The man paused, half his body returned to the earth, and thought to himself for a moment. Then, he reached out his hand and waited for her to take hold. She was hesitant and afraid, but she stepped close and took hold. The man lied down as the ground consumed him, the young woman falling to his arms.
And as the dirt covered her skin, her flesh began to dissolve. Her body could rest, her heart now at peace; her bones exposed like the stone which carried his and her name.