A dull thud, like an apple falling in late summer.
Out of mists that rise from where deep roots deepen in the fallen world of dead leaves and twig litter, the Ghost Deer appears.
It is blue as the moon and filled with dreams that swirl like milt. Its eyes dazzle, webbed as starlight and with the pulse of starlight. It acknowledges you with a soft nod.
What does it want? Why has it found you out here in the open field of your solitude? You thought you were alone here, as always before.
The coal-lump of its nose twitches, reading your scent. It nods again. You’re the right one.
“Come,” it speaks in a voice unsprung from sound, empty. How do you hear this quietness that fills your intrinsic dark? “Follow me.”
“Why? Where are we going?”
“To the Ghost River.”
The answer is there, is gone. The Ghost Deer’s words unroll urgency. And this urgency opens wider in you. Out of the thinnest air, awareness arrives: you have spent your whole life asleep.
It turns. Its hindquarters glow against the dark, a cloud riding the last light of the sun.
If you follow, the future collapses. If you follow, you know you can never come back to where you are.
You must decide. Are you the now that fills you now? Or are you the absence your next step forward fills?