It had been a while since Mina could wake up in the morning without feeling afraid. She was finally getting comfortable here, tucked away safe in the mountains. That in itself was a little frightening… isn’t it when the main character in a book gets too comfortable that everything starts going wrong? She was too happy today to feel let thoughts like that snake into her head. She got out of bed and pulled the covers up; she gave the now ‘made’ bed a satisfied nod and went to grab a bar of soap. She didn’t move around in her sleep last night, in fact she slept hard. The first time in months. She couldn’t quite put her finger on what was making her feel so content, but none-the-less she made her way outside, soap in hand.
She would have to rethink this morning ritual pretty soon. The air was beginning to turn a little too crisp for comfort with September quickly coming to a close. She could not remember the last time she showered inside. Her whole life she had bathed herself in the luxury of the beautiful outdoors. She was raised under the notion that cleansing oneself indoors was unsanitary and disgusting. It was the gypsy way. She had never been in one place more than a few months at a time. Even when she escaped here to her small sanctuary in the green mountains, she still lived in a small camper. She had never lived in anything bigger; even now she had more room than she knew what to do with.
She turned on the outdoor shower connected to the river and let the cool water wash over her. She had no intention of leaving these mountains; the camper was a temporary arrangement until she could afford something more permanent. However the thought of it frightened her as much as it excited her. She would have to change. “Some things you just can’t change,” she thought aloud. How could she force herself to shower inside when the very thought made her cringe. It may seem a funny thing to other people, but it was the way it had always been. She washed her clothes outside in running water – always running water.
As the rinsed the soap off, the water running down her head and back she felt the air change. It was subtle at first, and then she felt a tingling in her toes. She was no longer alone. The presence wasn’t menacing like last time she’d felt this. Then she had been terrified, sick, and ultimately violated at the intrusion to her head, her heart, her soul. This was different, she knew. The tingling spread up her legs and along her back, and it had nothing to do with the crispness in the air, or the cold from the river water running down her body.
She turned the shower off and dried herself, wrapping the towel around her when finished. She took a step back towards the camper when she noticed her out of the corner of her eye. It was a young doe, peaking at her through a curtain of leaves. In the early morning light of dawn, the doe looked to be glowing, her eyes full of wisdom and curiosity. Mina looked the doe in the eyes and felt an instant connection with the creature. This doe, so completely pure grasped at her and seemed to speak to her soul. Her head grew lighter, the tips of her fingers tingling now. Knowing it was right, she removed her towel and stood there, as completely free and pure as she could be; an invitation for the doe to come closer. She watched, frozen to the spot as the doe gingerly stepped out of the trees and into the clearing.
The doe looked directly into Mina and images flashed behind her eyes, feelings rushing through her body. Her heart beat faster; she felt the brush of long grass along her legs and wind across her face as she trot across a long meadow. She felt rough bark on her lips, the taste of pine on her tongue. She saw a man standing at the edge of the woods, looking in and biding his time. “Patience,” he told her. “I just have to be patient and you will show yourself to me. Time is nothing when you are patient.” And then he smiled.
The doe stepped back, almost startled as the connection between her and Mina abruptly ended. Mina fell to her knees, a rush of black taking over her world. She felt a nudge against her hand, and the fog slowly lifted for her to see the doe gently lifting her hand onto her nuzzle. Though she felt grounded again and the tingling had left, the air was still charged. Mina ran her fingers gently along the doe’s beautiful face and smiled as tears came to her eyes. “You came to remind me, didn’t you? To warn me?” The doe just looked at her and then backed away, back behind her curtain of leaves taking the charged air with her. Mina looked after her and the chill of the air, of the vision, and of her naked skin finally settled in. “Thank you,” she whispered after her.