Gretchen breathes in the steam from the fox’s nose. The fox, with its wet coat of fur glistening like oil, does the same to hers, and in both their lungs, the universe bubbles like a pan of boiling milk. The bubbles, tiny but massive, escape through their nostrils and drip down their chins to be washed away seconds later by the rain. As hard as it falls, the rain shows the first signs of faltering, and as the seconds pass, it diminishes to a polite patter. Simultaneously, the thunderous charge of the animals dies away until only a handful of rabbits and hares are left making their way through the grass that no longer shakes and bends in the wind but merely bows due to the weight of the rain clinging to the sea of green stalks. The thunder, which had been booming overhead, now echoes from some faraway place. The fury of nature, it seems, has subsided. All that remains are muted traces; their outlines smeared the same as the canvas of sky as the clouds above tear open to reveal the stars beyond. The moon, too, in all its aged glory, is present. Full and whole like a cookie, it watches over the land like a giant eye. Gretchen’s eyes don’t leave the fox’s, and yet the pull of the white chocolate moon is enough for her to lick her lips in anticipation of a tasty treat.
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US
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