“Watch!” she whispers but there really isn’t anything at all to see. She slips out of the bed and onto the floor. Lilith and Tyger Linn never stir at all in their sleep. She eases past the crate where Tanya the Destroyer lies in repose and Tanya, ever alert and weird, doesn’t make a sound. Damn, how in the hell does that woman ease about like that? I hear a small sound as the back door opens and Tyger Linn raises her head at this, but sleep pushes her down again. I count down backwards from one hundred and put one foot on the floor. It’s a gradual shift of mass from the bed to the floor, like pouring a heavy liquid out of one container to another without spilling anything. Sound is the spillage here and I manage to get upright without waking anyone.
The moon is beginning to crank up. This is my first month with Tanya and there’s a lot to learn about this one. She’s needy as hell and hates to be in the crate, but she is also hyper energetic and it drives the older dogs away. It also keeps me from sleeping at night so into the box she goes. Tanya is going to be a good dog one day but right now she’s like a little black waterfall that keeps sloshing around everywhere she goes. Liquid again, Mike, you cannot escape the analogies with that.
I know better than to start and stop, to try to cut the journey into pieces so I hope that I can make it past the crate on the first try, not too slowly but not too fast and I think I hear Tanya move but I keep drifting by as if I don’t exist at all. The moonlight creates a shadow in the living room and as I put out a hand to make sure… ah, yes, she has moved a chair into the travel way. I like that about her; full of surprises and this sort of thing. I move as silently as the dark around the chair and check to make sure she didn’t get some dishes out and stack them in the way. No, the way is clear and that’s an invitation of sorts. Flirting is a lot different with this one.
I stop at the French door and the woods are bathed in silver light. There’s enough water in the pond for it to be reflective so there’s a lot more light out there then there would normally be even during a full moon. The door is cracked open and I smile at this: trap. I feel for the top of the door and find a full shot glass. That makes me grin in a very big way and I wonder what she was like when she was alive.
The porch isn’t cold but there’s a lack of warmth that tells me the mosquitoes aren’t going to be bad tonight. Last night I went out into the yard and the frogs were so loud they frightened Tanya. She doesn’t know what to make of the noise so she hides from it. Tyger Linn rushes towards trouble and Lilith, well, she’s not into drama. She sits tight and waits to see what will happen next before she flees or fights. Of the Three Girls, Lilith is the most stable and the oldest. Tyger Linn and Tanya are still very much puppies.
There’s a clear spot in the woods full of bright moonlight and a blanket. She’s sitting there, nude, looking up at the sky as if getting a suntan and her skin glows under the approving Luna. The night is filled with the sound of the frogs, loud, overbearing, full of life and energy, like a rainstorm on a tin roof, drumming and thrumming and humming, a thousand piece band in discord but harmonic. I sit beside her and I can tell she’s smiling even though I can’t see her face full on from the angle where I’m sitting.
“Now bad at all, Mike” she turns to me and her face is half hidden by shadow yet illuminated, “you got past the waterworks!” She leans back and she is smiling. If you cannot believe in beauty as an intrinsic part of the Universe you have never seen a nude woman bathed in silver light.
I lean back with her and she pulls me closer. “Look!” she says and points up into the crowns of the trees where green lights flash on and off. The frogs are not the only creature bent on mating tonight. We watch the lightning bugs dance on and off and listen to the roar of the crowd. A slash of light arcs across the sky and she squeezes my hand tightly.
The worlds blur when we kiss. This world, the world in which all things we know to be solid and true melts at a certain heat. We become more like the frogs and the light created by falling stars and we forget to wear clothes and hide what we feel. There is something about being with a woman and being out in the open, being close to the earth, feeling the night air, tossing shadows in moonlight and adding to the sounds of Spring at night, under the moon, elemental and primordial.
Later, the moon has moved in the sky and the shadows are shifting. The frogs are not as loud and the flashing lights have ebbed a bit, too. She sits up and I can tell she isn’t smiling now. She has to leave soon and neither of us wants to begin that right now. There is another sound in the woods, foot falls that are hesitant and unsure. She gets up and walks towards the sound and I already know who it is without looking. I lean back and close my eyes. Now, is the time that it begins to shift and I realize that I have caused part of it. Fear, pain, loss, regret, and weariness flood into my soul as one door closes and another opens.
Tyger Linn is at the window, ears up, alert and steady, Lilith stand on the bed waiting and Tanya whines from her crate. The coffee machine kicks in and the girls head towards the back door. I didn’t realize I had left it open last night.