singing tall grass

I taste sunshine 

On my parched lips and

Honey,

Heavy on my tongue; and

My heart flutters in my chest to the rhythm of

Some long forgotten song.

Tall grass cool against my skin

Caresses me, holding me

In the sweat of summer, and

Light bleeds through my eyelids, a soft orange

Flooding my world with warmth.

The air is thick with the scents of the harvest,

Fruit too sweet and

The green scent of alfalfa filling my senses.

I feel the heartbeat of the earth

Cool and steady and ancient

Beneath my back,

I feel Helios’ smile on my cheeks and shoulders and bare legs,

And I hear Demeter’s voice 

In the buzzing of bees

As I lay among flowers, hidden in tall grass,

Singing 

My praises to the skies above and the

Earth below.

Golden

Underneath the tree, the sun is not so unbearable. Cicadas hidden within the tall grass sing. If Fenris were to lie down, he would vanish in the green with them. He feels sleepy. The wind caresses his skin, and his eyes flutter closed.

“Fenris.”

He smells apples. Apple pie, brown sugar and cinnamon, from the tree that he now rests against. Leandra must have baked it for dinner. He inhales, and exhales deeply. Golden dew shines on the bog moss, his lashes, the ring on his finger. Golden sun, golden rays through leaves.

“Fenris, it’s time to go.”

He shakes his head. The sun shines through his closed eyes. Across the hill he can see the house, the barn. Leandra is working in the kitchen– yes, there’s the pie. Bethany is with her, Carver in the fields. Children running in the garden. Whose children are they? Laughing and playing, carefree, dimples and red cheeks. And Hawke–

“We need to leave, Fenris. Open your eyes.”

A firm hand tugs on his shoulder and he pushes it away. He is warm, the breeze is cool, and the farm can wait. Work can wait.

But the hand will not give, that voice will not leave. He denies it and keeps his eyes firmly shut as its urgency grows.

“Fenris!”

He is shoved in ice, plunged in freezing water. He is going to drown, water burning down his throat, he is going to drown, he opens his eyes–

Surrounded by darkness, gasping. The image of the golden tree and the farm fade. He is soaked in water and panting. The ceiling above his head is low and he’s shivering. Fenris turns his head.

Hawke kneels over him with the bucket still in his hands. Fenris takes in his lover, the cave they’re in, and Hawke’s dire, frozen expression. He sits up, hunches forward. He closes his eyes.

The wetness spilling over his cheeks is hidden by his hands, but even if Hawke does not see, he sets the bucket aside and comes to him. His arms slowly wrap around his shoulders. 

“Nightmare?”

Fenris breathes deeply and shakes his head. He is cold, and lets himself sink into Hawke’s arms. A towel runs over his soaked hair, dabbing his skin, raising goosebumps under his clothes. He feels Hawke’s warm chuckle against his cheek.

“Don’t tell me you’re upset because I threw water on you. You wouldn’t wake for anything; I thought you’d be trapped in the Fade forever.”

A laugh rises to Fenris’s chest, broken, short. It pulls him further away from sleep. He stares at the dark beneath his eyelids. Willing for the golden tree to leave.

“It was…the most wonderful dream I’ve ever had.”

He lets out a breath. Hawke runs his hand down his back, keeps the other in his hair. 

“Those are always the worst.”