Shadow Courting

All around is darkness.  The sand is cool and damp beneath my bare feet. The methodical roaring of the sea soothes my mind with it’s melody.  My skirt begins to dance in the gentle breeze brushing against the sensitive skin of my legs.  Soft winds begin to play with the loose fire~colored curls falling around my face.  Tonight will be another night, for I hear his whispers sailing on the winds calling out my name. . . . “Joy. . . . . .”

Slowly, I open my eyes.  The full moon is above in all her splendor rising to rule her court.  Slivered diamonds hang in the sky, dancing at her whim.  He will be here tonight ~ a promise he has made spoken with no words.

Where does he come from?  I can remember him coming to me as far back as I can remember time.  My lashes fall like curtains against the pale skin of my cheeks, and I remember past times.

Young innocence running and laughing in thick patches of clover.  The small flowers spread over the patches like white fluffs of popped corn.  The grass was soft beneath my small, bare feet.  The weeping willow tree towered over me; it’s long branches dancing in the wind holding it’s branches out toward me.  The tree was my castle in the clouds; a shelter that hid me from the rest of the world.  Only my true friends were able to find me when the willow tree hid me away.  Each night the small, green leather skinned men with the toothless little grins would come and dance around my feet.  They sang in the night with melancholy voices.  When I lay in my bed I would fall asleep to the songs of the frogs.  When the darkness fell all around me; he would appear.  I came to call him “The Shadow Man”.

Each night in my dreams he returned.  A dark faceless man.  His coat was dark and he wore a tall, top hat.  He reached out for me, but I always ran.  Each dark night I would run, too afraid to look back.  What did this man want?  I was too afraid to ask.  Each night he returned, somehow I knew he always would.

The roars of the sea are growing stronger.  With each step taken I feel the water reaching out, and pulling back again.  I am reminded of my first temptation to join this “Shadow Man”.

I have begun to keep a journal of his visits. 

The lonely, leering night is completely full of eyes
I hear the the haunting rhythm which tempts me once again
Proceeding silently upon well worn tracks
The endless journey of that slow moving train

I hear the voice of the unknown and yet it’s familiar to me
From out of my world comes the six fingered hand
He whispers like honey, “I’m like no other man”
He proceeds from my world and on three legs he stands

I see his raven, black eyes carefully contemplating me
His voice spoken deeply, intensely and methodically
“Don’t be afraid to taste immorality with me”
His voice roars in my ears like the waves of the sea

I continue my journey on that slow moving train
For a night like tonight he may call out my name
To be lost in a moment of time with no reality
Tomorrow, I wonder will the ride be the same?

I have began to hear his voice in the shadows everywhere, whispering faintly like the wind brushing against my ears.
“I can take your pain away”.
“I can end your fears”.
“I will not allow another to walk away from you again”
“Abandonment while lamenting in your tears”.
From out of the shadows his hand would appear.  A dark faceless man, with a soothing voice.  Should I fear him?  He only offers me his hand, with a promise of a dark, silent sleep.  A peace I have never known.  I could close my eyes just once with no guilt calling out my name.  He seems a sympathetic stranger offering to take me back to a land of tomorrow.  Everyday being just the same and I don’t even need a name. . .

The crash of the waves against the rocks catch my attention.  The wind gently brushes against my ears carrying the promise of his voice, “Joy. . . I am on my way”.  I can’t remember the exact moment the seduction began, but the details are branded in my mind, just as I have engraved the memory to a bound page.

Seduction begins beneath sultry breath
The scent of her skin ~ he can’t resist
Blue~grey eyes like a summer storm
Challenging the darker ones

The darkness of death and rebirth too
A passion they shared could not be killed
Unforgotten memories led them here
Entwined in passion they both once knew

If separated by fates merciless ways
My search for you will never end
Leading us here to touch again
Beneath the glow of the pale moonlight

Is the “Shadow Man” someone from my past calling me back to where I belong?  Is he a figment of my own imagination calling out to him in my time of need?  My mind often becomes tormented, and it becomes necessary for me to pick up my pen and release the images in my mind.  The more I write the more I wonder is the “Shadow Man” my friend or is he my foe?

Dark, faceless one ~ stalking me from the shadows
My hungry soul cowers before the gift that you hold
As you entice me with the sound of my name
And the promise of release from my worldly pain
By claiming your offer of serenity

Re~surging terror ~ fighting for control
Ignoring the promises you endlessly bestow
Focusing harder on each loved one’s face
Grasping at a horde of reasons too small to trace
By rejecting your offer of serenity

Reoccurring presence ~ a constricting embrace
While provocative whispers silhouette your lips
I wade deeper into a sea of strength
Cleansing these thoughts tormenting me
Shoring up a fragile mind ~ until the next time I face your offer of serenity. . .

Is the “Shadow Man” perhaps nothing more than a deceiver who tempts me with the sound of my own name?  He visits me in the seclusive nights with the full moon holding out promises of hope ~ tempting me with my own writing.  Fear that lives inside me has given up; I become more tempted to take hold of the “Shadow Man’s” hand.  I yearn for freedom that only he understands.

Fear has resigned and given up hope
As I become empowered by the faceless man
For my acceptance of the inevitable
Grants me the gift to understand
My eyes linger long on his out~stretched hand

I dance in the dying twilight
Safely encased in his protective embrace
Daggers of poison encased in cruel words
No long hold power to cause me to bleed
For I sleep in peace where the flowers feed

I was never good enough for society
Survival is the lesson life offered instead
A life and death battle that danced in my head
The lesson I learned. . . . . . .
I could only find freedom in the out~stretched hand

I have become more drawn to the sea, unable to resist the temptation to walk along it’s edge.  Often, I walk alone in the moonlight.  He always returns to me in the dark, full~mooned nights.  I awaken in the sand along the edge of the sea with only the visions he can share with me.

I feel my body slowly turning and falling and then cushioned as my body falls into the sea.  A dolphin swims up from beneath me, and I wrap my arms around his neck.  The “Shadow Man” stands before us holding out a large pearl.  He motions with his hand to follow him.

He is leading us to a large city underneath the water.  A wall encircles the whole city.  We pass through an oval shaped gate.   Polished coral streets wind through the city.  I release my hold of the dolphin, and float down the road.  The coral road is smooth against the bottom of my bare feet.  The “Shadow Man” leads me into the building.  We step into a room and sit down at an oval shaped table.  He holds out the large pearl he was holding, placing it in my hands and then places his hand over mine.

A bright flash went through my mind; I see mountains covered with snow.  Suddenly the mountains are swallowed up by the ocean.  The pearl lifts slowly out of my hands, and my body begins to spin around and around very slowly.  Darkness is all around us.  The pearl begins to rise appearing before us like a beautiful full moon.  Small delicate starfish begin to dance around the pearl.  The “Shadow Man” reaches out to take my hands, and another flash went through my mind ~ a blinding flash!

The ocean water crashed against the rocks.  I could feel the light spray of water dampen my cheeks as the wind carried the droplets of water toward me.  Am I awake, or am I dreaming?  My two worlds have become so intertwined I no longer know which world is real.  I close my eyes and it is so dark.

All around me are giant pearls.  The “Shadow Man” appears before me holding out his hand.  The soft wind conforms my gown to my body.  My hair dancing in the gentle breeze.  The “Shadow Man” reaches out, and pushes a strand of my hair out of my eyes.  He holds out his hands.  I am so tempted to reach out and place my hands in his.

I look over his shoulder and see the most beautiful castle.  There is a long walkway leading toward the castle.  It seems to be on top of the sea.  As we reach the walkway I realize the pathway is water ~ crystal clear water.  The “Shadow Man” steps onto the path and motions for me to follow him.  I take a few steps, and I look down.  I can feel the water covering my feet; I am slowly sinking.  The “Shadow Man” takes hold of my hand and motions me not to look down.  He holds my hand a little tighter; I feel my body rising.  We slowly walk toward the castle.

The doors of the castle open wide as we come toward them.  The walls are clear like crystal.  The floor appears to be made of black onyx.  The “Shadow Man” leads me into a room.  it has the same crystal clear walls.  Through the walls I see a soft sunset.  Soft clouds of pink, pale orange and blue are billowing up around the walls.  Along the side of the wall are large pearls arranged as a stairway leading up.  I began to walk up the pearls.  At the end of the stairs is a large balcony overlooking the sea.  I feel a presence behind me.  As I turn I see him, and he is holding out a small black velvet bag.  Inside the bag I see that it is full of small pearls.  I take one out and throw it into the sky.  It begins to spin and dance in the sky.  I empty the whole bag into my hand and toss them up into the sky.  They all begin to spin and dance all around us.

The “Shadow Man” pulls me into his arms, holding me close.  We begin to dance.  It is difficult to breath, and I can’t catch my breath.  The room is spinning and the pearls drop from the sky.

I felt the water splash over my body.  Am I dreaming?  I hear the voice I had been longing to hear.  I turn to see the “Shadow Man”  holding out his hand with his unspoken promise; I can no longer resist the temptation.  I long to be with him, and in his world.  I reach out and take his hand.

A young couple walking hand in hand along the beach notices a body lying near the edge of the sea.  A woman with fire colored hair, and stormy grey~blue eyes.  Lily of the Valleys are intertwined in her hair cascading around the curves of her face.  Crystal slippers grace her feet, and she wears a dress woven with the most delicate lace.  Clutched tightly in her hand was a small, black velvet bag protecting an unusually large, lone glowing pearl.  Pressed into the sand beside her body a small bound book was found; the pages filled with writing.  The last entry reads:

She receives her invitation on a promise spoken with no words
As a luminous pearl rises to rest against a black velvet sky
A symphony sails on whispers of the wind growing nigh
She prepares to dance in the arms of the shadow tonight

She steps into a gown of shear spider~silk lace
Lily of the Valley cascades along the delicate curve of her face
Dew drops of crystal echo with each taken step
Her restless heart calmed with a deep taken breath

A pearl stands in splendor to rule the night court
Revealing the dark suitor silhouetting a darkened wall
His hand outstretched ~ longing for intimate dances once reminisced
Bound together for all time in a night meant for seclusion

Nimble fingered spiders ~ meticulous masters at their art
Adeptly spinning veils masking the darkened room
Holding hostage the unsuspecting fireflies
Casting an alluring mood upon the twosome quite entwined

It is said that when the moon rises in all her splendor, you can hear a name whispered on the wind.  A woman with fire colored hair, and a dark man dance in a veil covered arbor along the edge of the sea.  Am I living in a dream. . .or is this my reality?

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  1. This was a dream – I’m trying to decide what I want to do with it. My late husband always thought it was unfair and would tell me my dreams were like movies. He rarely remembered his and then one day he told me he had a dream that he did remember. He dreamed he was being chased by evil super intelligent cows. lol