By: Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression by candlelight)
Installment numero cuatro
Eyes. She saw black eyes staring at her, unblinking in the powerful light of her headlamp. She saw irises as black as the forest soil beneath her feet—black soil rich with leaves, woodland flowers, carefree insects and the forest creatures whom had once frolicked on this very spot, all decomposing together in a velvety nourishing blackness; a blackness very like those eyes that continued to share her gaze, melting her to the very core.
“I’ll…I’ll need your name sir”. Flora’s voice came out in a throaty whisper, not the firm tones of command she typically used in her official duties. She tried in vain to quell her curiosity, “Is that really your twin brother?”
“Hold on just a minute little lady—now you’ve asked me two questions.” The voice that enveloped her was as deep as a canyon, slightly gravelly with faint overtones of fine whisky—and sounded amused.
And then something happened to Flora that she hadn’t experienced since getting kicked in the stomach by a deer that she had tried to untangle from barbed wire, something that defied all her training. She fainted.
A cheerful fire popped and crackled as Flora woke slowly. Her senses, honed to razor sharpness by wilderness training began cluing her into her surroundings before she was fully awake. Her finely chiseled nostrils took in the fragrance of a hearty stew simmering on an old fashioned wood stove. Her sensitive fingertips took a sensuous journey over the silky soft covering that draped her. Her delicate shell shaped ears heard the cheerful masculine whistle coming from nearby. When her eyes finally opened she gasped in alarm as a chapped hand with black fingernails reached out to caress her cheek.
“Wendell!” The voice cracked like a bull whip in the hands of an Argentine vaquero. “I told you to keep your hands to yourself!” The odious claw retreated and the mulleted man scurried away to crouch on the hearth. “I’m sorry miss, he doesn’t mean any harm.”
Flora sat up, blushing when she realized that her she was no longer in uniform, but clad only in her camouflage underwear; thermal silk long johns that she had purchased in the lingerie section at Cabela’s, underwear that hugged her curves like a Lamborghini on the Pacific Coast Highway. “Where is my uniform…my gear?”
The impossibly handsome man took a step toward her, running a broad hand over his closely cropped black hair. His slow smile made Flora’s heart race as he spoke. “Oh, don’t worry miss, I closed my eyes while I took off all your gear. I had to after I set off your pepper spray.”
Flora couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction. “I only keep that to use if I am being attacked by a bear that doesn’t understand I am there to provide a safe habitat where it can live and thrive and….” Embarrassed, her voice faltered. She couldn’t contain her verbosity when she talking about the job she held so dear.
The black eyes imbedded in the rugged visage held her gaze until she had to look away. Nervously, she noticed that she was covered with some sort of furry blanket. Repulsed, and instantly nauseated at the thought of the innocent muskrats that had given their innocent lives to make it, she threw it off her and sprang to her feet, aware for the first time of what the cozy cabin contained.
And then she saw it…
To be continued