Shadow of the Forest

This painting was a gift to a friend who no longer works under my management.

He was a perfect soldier and I wished him the best on his last day.

Marcus Liotta
There in the darkness Gerrard blinked. He sat on his bottom and wondered what that feeling was under his hands.
“Why am I in the forest?” he asked aloud.
Nothing made sense.
Last thing he remembered, sleeping in his bed beside his beauriful wife, the next and he was in this strange and magnificent forest far from the abrasive touch of humanity.
“Is this a dream?” He asked the question under his breath, now afraid to disturb the tranquil silence that fell upon the place.

Out of the strange and befuddling moment there was an interruption. There in the trees before Gerrard, the entire forest seemed to split apart, allowing a strange figure of greenish hue to pass through unscathed.
In a voice which almost hummed with musical hymn and melody, the figure spoke.

“No, this is not a dream.” The tall figure said.
The emerald-skinned being, easily taller than Gerrard by the length of his own hand, it possessed elongated arms and a mane of vibrant shining silver-green hair. The hair gave off an aura that stifled light around it, as if only the mane was allowed to shine bright in that space.

Somewhere behind all that hair and strange magical darkness, the being’s yellow eyes stared back at Gerrard. It was not the same way his own gazed upon the strange creature, in wonderment. Rather, it was in quiet contemplation and caution.

Gerrard slowly brought himself to his feet, swatting away the moisture that clung to his now wet buttocks after sitting in the forest moss for so long.
He had a number of questions but his first erupted without grace or planning.
“Who in the hell are you?” He asked.
The shimmering creature tilted its head but never replied, still merely staring at him with those large yellow eyes.
It never blinked.
Gerrard grew visibly exasperated and annoyed.
“What do you want with me?” Gerrard demanded.
At first the being said nothing, but then, after a smile emerged on its alien features, the being threw its head backwards in a mighty bout of laughter than rang throughout the forest.
It paused and turned back to Gerrard, staring again as it replied coyly.

“No need to discuss that yet. Come, let us drink of the nectars of my home and enjoy each other’s company a moment. There will be much to discuss when the other’s arrive.”
Gerrard was baffled.
"Others?” he asked, clearly terrified of what that could mean.
“Yes,” the being stated, “your allies are on their way to meet us. The fight for eternity begins soon, and for that, we must hold council.”
Gerrard blinked.
He was overwhelmed.
Regardless, there were few options.
Gerrard followed the obtuse being, wondering what strange reality he had suddenly been thrown into.
But at least, it seemed they cared about his military experience. It may well be needed again.
If only he had not been taken from his wife.
The memory of her sleeping beside him still shown within his own mind as a burning fury.
"I'll make it back to you," he thought, "no matter what it takes - I'll make it back."

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