WARNING: Don't even think about reading this installment
without reading installment numeros uno.
A challenging intellectual piece of romantic literature
such as this will leave you hopelessly lost
without the proper framework.
Flora: An Environmental Love Story
By: Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression by candlelight)
Installment numero cinco
The glass eyes in the mounted deer head stared sightlessly at Flora. A shudder ran down her sinuous body, reached the ends of her cute pink toes and started back up again, got as far as her neck and headed south once more, finally fading out as it reached her shapely calves, well developed from hiking many a forest mile. She could not tear her eyes way from the atrocity mounted on the wall; could only gaze with horror at the massive pointy rack contrasted by the elegant lines and sensitive visage of the deer beneath it, obscenely fastened somehow to a wooden plaque.
Her eyes filled instantly with brilliant tears, held back by a dam of copious black lashes. The words, torn from her throat, were raw with pain, “How could you…” A sob shook her again.
The powerfully built man stared, enthralled. Watching this woman shudder was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. It was akin to watching a slow breeze ripple the sand of a curved bronze dune in the Mojave Desert, a sight that made him choke slightly on a chunk of venison in the stew he was eating out of a bowl he had carved himself from a burl of oak. He set the bowl down on the table he had hewn from broad pine planks, glowing gold in the firelight.
He rushed to Flora’s side as her knees buckled and she collapsed backward onto the leather couch. His colossal thighs coiled as he squatted beside her. Her hands flew to her face, trying in vain to hide her roiling emotions. The man reached a broad but tentative hand to her shaking shoulder. “There, there little one.” The stroke of strong fingers down her arm was calming and electrifying at once. “What’s wrong? Don’t cry now, you’re safe, I am here and I won’t let anything bad happen to you.”
In an instant Flora was on her feet, eyes blazing. “Something bad has already happened you fool!” She thrust an accusing finger at the mounted deer head. “I know that deer. He was one of my dearest friends. His name is Terrence and he was the leader of all the white tail deer in the extreme northeast quadrant of the Tonto National Forest. I have been searching for him since last fall!”
A wheezy chuckle came from the corner of the room where the mullet man sat on a stool slurping stew. “Why Conrad kilt that there deer with his bow and arrow. Shot him right through the butt the very first day of deer season. Took three more arrows and half a day followin’ the blood trail to finish him off”
“Shut your mouth Wendell!” Conrad’s resonant bass voice made the tin cups hanging on hand-carved pegs rattle. “Go outside and feed the goat!” Wendell left his stool and slunk out of the cabin, the scent of ignorance trailing behind him.
Distressed, Flora paced in front of the fire, oblivious to the irony that her pretty bosom, clad in camouflage lingerie was also camouflaging the emotions churning beneath it. “Why did you bring me here? What have you done with my official Forest Service vehicle? She stopped pacing and looked up at the man who seemed to fill the cabin with the strength of his manliness. “Who are you?”
A sturdy hand reached for Flora, gently cupping her elbow, leading her to the couch. She found herself staring and lowered her eyes from his face, but then her gaze became tangled in the black chest hair that peaked out of the flannel shirt. Flora instantly employed the mind control technique that always seemed to focus her and began naming the members of the Congressional subcommittee in charge of National Parks. As usual, it helped to calm her. She took a deep cleansing breath.
“Your name is Conrad?”
“And is that really your twin brother?”
“Well, yes and no.” Flora’s left eyebrow rose quizzically and Conrad thought that it looked very much like a raven’s wing in flight.
“My twin brother and I were born on a stormy night in the tiny Monastery hospital run by the Sightless Brotherhood of the Forest. There was another set of twins born that night, also boys.”
Conrad’s face was serious below his chiseled brow and Flora had a sudden urge to smooth his forehead with her cool fingers. She had to start naming Congressmen again and the thought of Barney Frank whipped her right back into focus.
He continued “A mistake was made…” Conrad’s voice faltered.
And then she saw it.
To be continued...