Whale Song - Page 1

Being in the woods usually afforded me a sense of tranquility, a sense of . . . not "oneness," per se, but at least a reminder of what it was like to feel a sense of connection with the rest of the world. Even if it was nothing more than a sense of nostalgia, it was a link back to the days when I had things to live for as opposed to living because there were things to stand against.

Of course, usually when I'm in the woods I'm not surrounded by hippie-dippie granola chewers.

"I sense that you are an old soul," a feminine voice intoned from behind me as if she were auditioning for the part of "generic gypsy fortune teller number three."

"Really?" I answered with a sneer that was so perfect that I decided to turn around and share it with her. "And what makes you say–"

Turning around proved to be a mistake.

"Oh dear gods!" I choked.

She was cuter than I was expecting from her voice, with a pixie-like, if vapid, prettiness about her features, but nothing I hadn't see before. Strictly speaking, there wasn't anything about her that I hadn't seen before, but before that moment, I'd never before seen it on her.

"Go put some damn clothes on!" I snapped.

"I'm skyclad," she informed me with an infuriating tranquility. She followed this up with a brief downward glance as if to confirm that everything was still in place. Everything was, from the slender curves of her body which managed to make her look simultaneously child-like and undeniably full-grown, to the almost uniformly lunar white of her skin. Clearly she didn't make a habit of spending much time in direct sunlight, making me wonder at both her "fashion choice" and what she spent her time doing . . .

"You're naked!" I corrected before my thoughts or eyes started to wander any further. "In the woods . . . something that people who didn't have a choice in the matter quickly figured out was a bad idea a few millennia or so back, hence the invention of things like footwear and clothing. Perhaps you've heard of them?"

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