Caterpillar Dream

by Skye Drey

Her name was Avalon Losst, one of the more beautiful women I've had in my life and smarter than any man I've ever known. Tall, slender, and witty, she waltzed her way into my life and uncovered all the things I had kept hidden before. She was an ethereal beauty: long black hair, large ice blue eyes, soft and supple ivory colored skin, long legs, thin waist. The perfect image of what a woman should be. We lived happily in the euphoria of our love for a time, but she quickly figured out more about me than she needed to know. She was too smart, too suspicious. She noticed too much. She became as calculating as I was, hiding it behind that simplistic faade I found so endearing. She had kissed, caressed, and seduced me in to a position I did not like being in. Naturally, I had to do something.

I took Avalon to The Sea. A cold harsh wind blew that dark starless night and the cruel waves of the ocean crashed against the sharp rocks at the bottom of the cliff. The branches from a tiny sturdy tree, jutting out from the side of the cliff, creaked in the wind. Avalon sat on the hood of my car, legs spread with her hands between them on the cold metal, leaning towards the edge of the cliff. Her eyes were closed and she had a faint smile on her face. Her black hair clumped together in thick strands as the wind blew swells of cold ocean mist through it. Her skin grew damp as the same mist clung to her body the same way her black dress did. Her beauty radiated in the night. She would have been the perfect substitute for the moon if I could have gotten her up that high.

I watched her from inside the car. She had this way of mesmerizing me by doing simple things in her own special way. I turned on the radio in the car and tuned it to a slow jazz station, letting the melodic voice of a saxophone out-sing the crashing waves of the ocean, and then got out of the car. I ran my fingers up Avalon's back as I passed by her. I could feel the goosebumps rising on her skin as it responded to my touch. She opened her eyes as I came around in front of her. I hated looking into her eyes at times like these; they always drew me in deeper than I wanted to be, and that night I was swimming in the blue pool of her eyes. I grabbed her by her hips and slid her down the hood of the car against me. Avalon obeyed limply with a coy expression on her face. I could feel her protruding hip bones digging into my pelvis the harder I pulled her against me. I pulled her off the car and led her closer to the edge of cliff.

Avalon spun in a circle and started moving her hips slowly, sensually to the saxophone playing over the radio. I grabbed her wrists and pulled her close to me, so close that the force of her hips moved mine in time with hers. We danced for hours, drenched in sweat and ocean water, so transfixed on each other's movements that everything else was forgotten. Well, almost everything.

"Elliot," Avalon said, rocking back into me from a spin I sent her into, "We need to talk about something." I ignored her and pushed her into another spin. She giggled as she spun out towards the cliff, kicking a few small rocks over the edge with her heels.

"Elliot, seriously. We need to talk." She tried to pull her hand free from mine as she spun back in and slammed into my chest. I grabbed her wrists and spun her out again, faster than before.

"Elliot, stop! Let go of me!" She pulled harder and harder against my grip when she spun back into me. I spun her back out toward the cliff.

"Let go! Elliot!" I let her go.

Her voice echoed above the cliff until it was taken over by the loud snapping of aged tree bark. I walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down. Time seemed to stop as I stared down at her. Avalon, spine shattered and neck snapped, was balanced on the thick branch of the little tree jutting from the side of the cliff, bouncing up and down on a hinge the impact her body had made. A cloud of white orchid petals, pulled free from their open bud when she fell through the branches, floated around her in the wind then fell the long journey to the waters below. I stared down at her and she was staring back at me. She wore the same look she had had sitting on the hood of the car. There was a faint smile on her face. Her skin, now a faint blue color, was still damp from the mist of the ocean, as was her hair. Her eyes were open, though, staring at me with a cold, lifeless, mesmerizing gaze. I couldn't stop looking at her. She was perfect in that moment. Still. Peaceful. Beautiful. The perfect substitute for the moon if I could have gotten her up that high.

Time regained its hold on life and the branch Avalon was lying on began to moan and snapped under the weight of her body. Avalon fell. I watched as she glided through the mist and dove into the freezing water of the ocean, the waves crashing on her with the full force of their cruelty. I stared down at the spot where she had fallen into the water for a few seconds then got up and walked back to my car. The melody of the saxophone was still billowing through from the radio and out the open windows filling the empty night. I turned the radio off and sat with my hands on the wheel and looked around before turning and heading home.

The Sea is a beautiful place to be with a beautiful girl on a starless night, I thought to myself. I thought about Avalon and her beauty swallowed up by the cruel ocean waters. I thought about the smile she had on her face as she sat on the hood of my car, as she lay dead on her back on the branch of that tree, and as she plunged into the water. I thought about the fact that I was going home alone to a cold empty bed that I had come accustomed to sharing with Avalon. I thought about her lying at the bottom of The Sea, giving her love to the ghosts others had forgotten there, like her. I took a deep breath in and let out a sigh.

"What a waste."

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