Little Bird the Unstoppable

Episode Three

Young Love Press

Anthony breathed in the air deeply, eyes closed. He smelled the grass, and the wood and the dirt. He smelled the scent of flowers carried on the light breeze.

There is a field nearby. Filled with wildflowers. She-loves-mes and She-loves-me-nots.

His dark eyes were closed and a look of serenity covered his dark face. A look of being lost in a pleasant memory. His gloved hand reached up to touch the scar on his face. One finger traced the line from the top of his ear to his lip. He smiled gently, chuckling softly to himself.

This is a good place, he thought. A good place to fall in love.

Anthony had long, full dark hair. Full enough, and long enough to say that he had locks. His face was clean shaven, and his eyes were blue like clear ocean water. The man wore an incredible crimson tunic, full of fluff and pomp as if he were once someone very important. His pants were black and he wore matching black boots.

On his belt was his sword which juxtaposed his prim figure and fancy clothes. The sword was a massive cleaver

Opening his eyes he surveyed his men, his gaze sweeping to his left and to his right. They were all hidden, just like him, moving among the shadows of the trees. Here in the forest, stalking prey, they were at home. Just like in the fields stalking prey, or in the mountains stalking prey. Or anywhere.

Anthony decided then that he would not take part in this battle. Right now he felt less like a warrior, and more like a poet. He stood up from his shadow and walked away from the impending conflict, the scent of wildflowers on his nose.

Returning to the dirt path, he followed it into the woods alone. The sunlight cast mottled shadows on his face as it passed through the leaves of the trees. Anthony's eyes floated, not focusing on anything, passing from grass to tree to leaves to dirt. He looked, almost, as if he were not present. As if his eyes saw a completely different world, until- a red wildflower stood in his way.

He smiled quickly, taken aback. "Well!," he cried, "My dear!" Dropping to his knees, he cupped the blossom in his gloved hands. Tenderly, he picked the flower from the stem and held it to his scarred face.

And then, he began to hum a song.

Soft, smooth new spring blossom
Vividly radiant beauty
Precious, tender flower of passion
Capture my heart truly

Patiently waiting, I will have you
Fit for my eyes only
I will protect you, I'll care for you
Safe from unclean eyes

Anthony's eyes closed and his mouth opened, and he popped the blossom into his maw, swallowing it in one gulp.

A few yards off of the path was a patch of very dense undergrowth. If you looked very hard into this tangle of bushes and branches, for a very long time you would see two pairs of eyes peering out. These eyes belonged to our very own Little Bird and Marten. They had seen this whole scene and it made them quite confused and slightly anxious.

As Anthony finished his floral snack and continued murmuring foreboding poetry to himself, the two young people looked at each other quizzically.

Marten whispered, "What... why... Did he just eat that flower?" "Yes," Little Bird's little brow furrowed. "What a strange man." "Creep..." Marten said under his breath. He bit his lip and looked thoughtful for a moment. Sliding his hand into hers he said, "Little Bird, things may get... hectic today. Or bad. Or something. But, I'll be here to protect you. Don't worry."

She smiled, "I won't. We'll protect each other."

Something about their adrenaline, the danger ahead and their close proximity to each other made them feel something new. As if, the adventure they were about to partake of was twofold. One side held danger and an unknown enemy. The other side held a different kind of a danger, and a very close friend. The mixture of impending battle, their adrenaline and their hands touching created a hurricane of feelings that each had only dabbled with.

Little Bird had thought, at times before, that there may be something more to their friendship, but had always been afraid to say something. It was easier to train, or hunt, or go on adventures than to look into the eyes of her friend for something that may or may not be there.

"Marten, let's go. The Mad Lover is far enough away now."

"Right. First let's get out of this tangle."

The two extracted themselves from the mess of the forest undergrowth and ventured alongside the path, wary of running into additional stray enemies.

Young Love Press

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