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Rated: 18+ · Novella · Romance/Love · #2153022
A philosophical erotic novella featuring foxes and forest animals [18+]
Chapter 1
The end is built into the beginning
The flurry summer haze lingered in the cold. The scent of burnt soot and ash drifted across the land. The weary wind hissed and hushed in the darkness. The city was asleep; lights were dying out as the distance stars blinked in accord. The night was no stranger to solitude. It brooded over the houses, covering them in a shroud of darkness, and loitered in the lonesome streets, caressing the poles and posts with its tenderly touch.
It whispered a tune of melancholy blues. How heavy was every note and lyric, as it traveled through the cracks of each building and around the corners of each sidewalk. A desiccate and tasteless song. It didn't lasted for long, carried away by the wind, wading its way out of this dreary town. Silence endured.
There, a few miles away, stood a line of black trees, of charcoal and charred wood. Piles of ashes peppered all over the dry earth, bathing in heaves of smoke, covering a scatter of crumbled-up branches and bones. A faint cry rang from afar, so feeble and fragile, the indescribable agony of a helpless dying being, immediately torn apart by the wind and easily subdued. A vain effort to seek rescue unable to reach anywhere, or anyone for that matter. The night is unflinching, cruel and callous.
In the heart of the city the cover of a drain burst open, and from within a raccoon poked its head into the night, glancing around swiftly with its bulging eyes. Its pointy ears twitched and turned. Slowly and heedfully it stepped out and ventured into the barren lands, peeking around the vicinity. Just as he would assume. The streets were empty. The cars were still. Everything was dead, and the smell of ashes and smoke choked his every breath.
"Get the fuck out peasants," groaned the furry creature. There was a rumble from underground, shaking the buildings to their foundations, and drains all over the city popped open one by one. Mammals of all size and species set paws on the lonely lanes and lawns. They scuffled and snarled at each other, scrambling through the maze of garbage and waste. There was a howl in the dark. The shivering cold numbed their senses. They sprinted through dirty abandoned corridors between the buildings and threw themselves to any trashcan within their sights, as they yanked each other with their long skinny limbs and dug into opened packages and plastics. The commotion lasted for a while until someone let out a scream, and everyone started running in all directions.  The dogs had arrived, barking furiously, their jaws drooling as they kicked and smacked their inferiors out of their paths ferociously. The small creatures whined and whimpered as they succumbed to their dominion, while slightly larger ones stood their grounds and persisted before leaving off with bloody scars on their cheeks. The dog breeds secured their bounty. They laughed manically, and regaled themselves with generous storage of refreshments they had embezzled.
Somewhere in the outskirts two gaunt figures toiled in the gloomy expanse. Through the shabby gates and fences they went while the madness continued from where they came. Their paws were bruised and scarred; their fur dull and lackluster. Their faces were aloof and languid, and as they walked through the dense haze their bodies mingled with their surroundings until they were barely discernible from the grey background.
Soon they reached flat land, a tundra that stretched all the way into the horizon. It was barren, lifeless and forlorn, albeit the presence of a few scattered ferns and moss. In front of them was a pile of dirt. The otter proceeded to brush off its surface, revealing a rectangular shape object buried underneath. A stone, made of rough granite, anchored in mellow soil and unmolested by the punishing gust and rain.
"My condolences dude. This is the best I could muster. Asked those fine folks to find the right rock and refined the edges, carved on it... took us a solid year, but yeah its finally over. Glad you'n I are still alive to see it to the very end.
Here, my friend, is the ending you asked for."
The fox shut his eyes, nodding amicably. The otter waited for a while and returned the nod. He turned back and proceeded back the way they came. The fox remained at the spot, motionless in the blistering cold.
There in the other side a mystic figure rose upon the shadows and engulfed the entirety of his body in a swallow. A dash of light ripped through the dark; the ground gave way to a bottomless trench and he fell for as long as he could remember. A million cries were silenced and he heard a hysterical laugh. He held his composure, and in a blink of an eye he stood before a familiar scene, a pungent smell of smoke biting his nose, an exquisite piece of stone erecting in front of him, a turbulent mind commingled with dreams and imagination.
He walked forward and leaned towards the stone, his head slanting, his eyes gazing at the markings on its surface.
"in memory of the flower fox ~ Tulip"
Tulip oh Tulip.
Can you hear me, Tulip? Can you feel my presence? Brooding a foot from where I stand, you rest your body in gravel and grass sprawls out of the dry rocks. You smile while you sleep, in a peaceful longing, like the happy fox you once lived. You sing the melodies of evergreen. The world sings with you in harmony. You have something in your mind. You are thinking of me, and oh how silly of me to assume, for every time I tried to probe you you giggled and fled in a frisky gait, and I was left in awe and wonder of the quandry that you were. You tried to keep a distance and I tried to closed it in. You were shy and I was curious. We were always meant for each other.
My heart beats in a lively pulse. My veins pulsate in a joyful rhythm. I laid myself to the ground, seeking keenly for the sound of your breathing. Your heart once followed the beating of mine. I felt it once. It was adorable. Your blood is frozen now but I know a time when it flowed with the passion of a thousand suns. I remembered your suaveness, your omniscience and your pride. I muddled through your soul and explored your deepest secrets, you in your most genuine and vulnerable. What can I say except that I relished every single bit of your beauty while it lasted!
Here is some food for you. A chunk of delicious meat. I cleaned out the stains and took away the maggots. This is the most of my rations, the best I could procure. Yes, Tulip, as it would imply, my life is in shambles. My wish never came true. All that I have endeavored were futile at the end of the day. My hope was high and yet my wounds are plentiful. You can pity me, but I assure you I won't do that to myself, for you have already changed me. You did wonders to my soul like no one ever did, and I wouldn't even have thought of it myself. I haven't pursued that impossible dream ever since that fateful day, and I do not regret anything. I brought you a rose, Tulip. I have put it here, and you can see it well and clear. Can't you smell it, the fragrant floral scent that you and I adored from the very beginning? I remember how we first met, and the tickling pain of its thorns sinking into my tongue, as you made your grand entrance. I can remember the storm of pink showering over your mystic figure, your beauty bristling in the gentle wind. You and your rose has defined me forever.
It is cold out here, isn't it? You see, you've left this world a brutal place, after you took its color away with you. We are all decaying, and fundamentally we are no different from you.
I was never a wise fox. I never come close to understanding the ways of the universe, and every time I strive to break the chains of reality I fail miserably, and so I lamented. I was a fool. When you descended to your everlasting slumber, I mourned and pondered all day long, and not until a year had passed when I suddenly came to this realization, that my life hinges on the truth, and you have told the truth; the truth in the words you spoke, truth in the ideas you abided by, towards which I used to object and condone. But I can see it now, the flaws in my philosophy, the righteousness in yours, and you were always right, that very day when you told me everything. Forgive me Tulip. I take this moment to show you my deepest thoughts, and now that the dust has settled, have become no more than a mirror of yours. You were so right, Tulip, you were so right.
And it is because you are right that I am still living. I have found the meaning behind everything, the reason to carry on. It is the advent of that brief moment, that small window in time which I thought we could hold on to forever, and never let it go. It still did, of course, although to many it seems like the remains of such greatness has been long lost in time. As you would have said had you been here, it never ended. It never left. It is short-lived as much as it is ever-living. It goes down in our memories just like it is the only thing that marks us, you and me, and what makes me complete, and what puts you in your perennial glory.
Tulip oh Tulip, how I wish you still remembered. How I wish I was in your heart all this time while you rested in peace. You said we will always be together. You believed in that, don't you?
He put his paws on the frigid gravestone, laying his snout on the rough surface.
I do miss you, Tulip. It is tough to see a star die out, and... no matter how we've conquered it all. I still want you back...
His blue eyes welled up and a thread of tears dripped down his cheeks. His grief overwhelmed him has he broke down in the dark, drenched in sorrow and pain. Curling up at the spot, caressing his body with his brush, he nested over his dearly beloved soulmate.
Time fled by. There was no knowing how fast it went. The night did not change its color. The tundra was stone cold. He opened his eyes, shimmering in the starry glow. He looked up, and he looked down, and he looked all around him. There was nothing at all. There was nothing left for him. He closed his eyes again and a shadowy force lifted him off his feet, taking him further and further away from familiar grounds until he too, was no more.

Chapter 2
"Run...Keep running...."
Fiery flames sprouted out of the treetops, its contours mingled with the fiery red of the setting sun. Giant torches were bundled together and set afire.
"I can't move..."
Pillars of thick black smoke tunneled into the clouds. Sizzling sparks spurred through the air. Smothering heat took over the crimson sky.
 "Hold me. Keep going...We made it out..."
She barely looked up. She itched forward with all her might as he desperately waited. She stumbled and dropped to her knees. He speeded to her side and took her arm, wrapping it around his shoulders.
"We are so close. I can feel it..."
Somewhere in the distance a tree was lit in a brilliant glow. It crackled and grunted, and in a strainful holler it descended slowly into the sea of grey familiar figures - a landfill of lifeless charcoal, a graveyard of silenced cries. And by its side remained a few slender trees, their twigs and branches dangling out, their heads drooping from their trunks, their roots slipping from the ashes as they tottered on the thin line between life and death.
They scrambled on and on, rocking to and fro as they moved, intruded incessantly by the scorching scent of burnt carbon, deafened by the piercing shrieks of crackling wood.
Bursting out of the surging fire came a few recognizable figures. The moose, screeching at the top of his lungs, tramping over the incinerated cadavers of ferns and ramps, galloping frantically into the open fields. A bison tripped and fell headlong into a dry riverbed, lying at the spot lifelessly with patches of raw skin exposing on his torso. Squirrels and stoats sprinted at all directions, letting out intermittent shrieks as they waddled their way through the smoky fog. A drove of hares circled around the muddy meadows, their faces stricken with shock and terror, their ears shivering uncontrollably while their younglings cried for comfort. Voles of all sizes and shape sprang out of underground tunnels that led deep into the heart of the conflagration; some of them limping and barely alive, while others stopped by the exit to drag the carcasses of their hardly identifiable loved ones, clinging to them as they wept over their icy bodies.
"It ends...the world falls before our eyes."
She mumbled feebly. He could feel the warmth drifting away from her veins, her heartbeat enervating.
"We're almost there...stay...stay with me." He insisted. His throat was dry and his legs were weak. A loud bang was heard from the distance. A weasel hurried past them, followed by a faint roar and an explosion. The moon reared its head in the dimming sky. The sun buried its face deeper into the mountains. The last of its rays shone onto their new frontier, an urban setting, an image stranger to most wildlife. The grumpy, stoic caricatures of edifices stood half a mile in front of them, behind wired fences and metal gates. They could hear the whispers of the city.
 It lingered in their ears, a word of welcome. Destination is neigh.
"Just a few more steps..." He sputtered.
"No... not near enough..."
He looked at her. Her face was pale, the color of her fur draining away. Her eyes were shut and her head looked like it was about to fall in any given second.
"Don't do this...Don't let go..." He could barely think straight, for all he would imagine is her dying in his hands.
"The trees..."
He turned to her instantly.
"What? What did you say?"
"The trees," she muttered, "trees are all...dead."
She opened her eyes, locking into his confused face.
"It is so sad, the perishing of these lovely giants. For a while it was scintillating in beauty, and now it's just skinny and naked, its flourishing leaves detaching from its extensions and deserting it. It loses everything..."
"Good sake enough of that, please Tulip. You're driving me insane."
She pointed at a pine wood a few feet to her side, swaying tiredly in the middle of the tundra.
"It died..."
"It lives forever, Tulip. It lives."
"But it is still so sad, isn't it Cirgale?"
"Get in! Get in! For the love of God. Can you not hear me?"
He spun around. A weasel was yelling right at his face. A dozen forest dwellers creatures gathered in front of a huge pipe opening, shouting at all direction, as the others scrambled in. All sorts of noise could be heard echoing inside the massive tunnel.
"Do you two want to live?" The weasel bellowed.
"Forgive me but allow me to stay out of the crowd, please," he pleaded. "She is very weak right now. She needs some fresh air."
The weasel gave him a questioning look and turned away with a scorn. Slowly and carefully, he dragged her fragile body away from the throng, the commotion. He settled her down on a flat ground next to a precipitous slope, where individual survivors could be seen walking around in heavy breathing, sighing and panting as they began to process what they had been through.
She felt the soil on her back, the soft texture of moist earth, and she opened her eyes for a few seconds and closed them. He waited urgently for a response, a signal for relief, but all he could see is her emotionless pallid face. He didn't know how much is left in her. Someone came with water and he poured it all into her snout. She forced a cough, and after a long while turned around to faced him, her eyes barely opening, and she smiled.
"Hold my hand, Cirgale. Hold me close..."
He held her hand, shaking his head as he looked into her blue eyes.
"No...no...this can't happen..."
"Myrtle," she whispered, "so that is what it feels like, Mrytle. Tell him...that I know now..."
"I remember, Tulip. I'll tell him that we both know." He choked, tears swelling. "He saw it coming. He sure did."
"Yes," she smiled, "he said it all, and he was so right about us. It is like I both remember and don't remember. All that happened today subsides. My dear, you don't need to remember anything. It all ends...now..."
He took a deep sigh, his voice shaking.
"Tulip. I swore I would tell you this. That...that...rose I had, that I insisted I killed. It never was a victim of my malice. It was lying on the ground, and fate brought me to it. "
She gave a hearty chuckle.
"Silly... I knew. She died in peace, and you played no part in her passing. All along I was bullshitting you, and you even said it yourself."
He eked out a smile. He listened and digested every word she said. It felt so surreal. The conflicted emotions in his head overwhelmed him and almost topping him over. Her impression, the pristine beauty, was blurring out. The setting sun projected her shadow far across the vast land, a fiery glow shone on her ebbing body.
"You hideous monster..." she whispered.
"And aren't you a rude meddler yourself..."
"I love you..."
Her voice faltered away. He arms slid down his neck and landed on her furry chest. Her eyes were shut and her labor breathing could be heard no more.
And so he laid next to her and cried while others watched as they went by. The air grew cold and the gust was strong. The melancholy land of withering pines and larch submerged into darkness, and the clouds gathered to shower the vicinity with chilling raindrops.
He was still, wet and undone, and as he gently shook her it was as though all hope was lost, and he would double down and curl up at a corner for eternal. There was nothing, like a barren wasteland.
Thunder and rain. Lightning flashed. It was all implied. It was all connected. And this is where we get off.

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