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I should never have cast the spell. But I am merely their servant. They speak. And I must do as they say. The roses call me home tonight. A silver trail, bathed in moonlight, leads to the garden gate. I fumble for the wrought iron latch. The hinges squeak over the rustle of petals.
My beloved's scent lingers in the branches tangled in my hair. Drops of dew cling to my dress. River water drips from the hem from when we stumbled into the brook. Too wrapped up in each other to notice the dip in the path.
I left him under the hawthorn tree. Drunk from our love. His kiss still tingles on my rosebud lips. But tomorrow he will wake and find me gone. He will not understand. That I cannot love just one man.
For I am true love. I am the spell. I wake the ones who've fallen. The ones who've lost their way. I shake them from their slumber. There is another, somewhere, who waits for you. Who aches to hold you and care for you. She whispers words at midnight, praying for a love as strong as yours. Go find her, beloved. Go find her. She is yours.
I leave them after. I've learned that. Because if I stay, they think I am the one. But I am not. I am no one's beloved. I am nothing more than a spell. My fingers curl into the braided vines. I drag myself into the swing. And close my eyes.
My head falls forward. I breathe in their scent. The essence of all that is life. Their beauty fills me. Restoring my power. Re-awakening the spell. I sink back into their velvet folds. They carry me as I sleep. And dream of you. Beloved.
Until we meet again.
This, dear friends, is my first flash fiction piece ever. The lovely Anna Meade of the enchanting Yearning for Wonderland blog and @ruanna3 on Twitter came up with the idea to hold a Pinterest Faerytaleish Flash Fiction Contest based on fairy tale photos pinned to her group board. The contest has come and gone, but after reading the stunning entries, I was inspired to dip my toe in the water of flash fiction. Who knows if it will ever happen again. :)