Its eyes followed me through the shadowy brush like two hidden orbs behind the black clouds, but I was nevertheless determined and, afraid as I was, walked on through where I would surely be pursued and not back to the clearing and the open field where the beast would no longer prowl after me, where, if anything, he would stop in midstep at the border of his realm before entering and there exposing himself to light.  What I was looking for was the same as what any human being looks for in a dark place: not light, an opening for the moon or for the sun through the thick canopy, not exactly light at least, unless light it is when you, groping along in some hellish place, your hands as lost as your eyes, chance upon some undeserved security that you are still properly wedded to the road, although road there is no more, only the trackless dense meanderings of growths you’ve never seen before.

            What I was looking for was not a voice, nor was it a light, but inner confidence like being struck in the head that there happened to be, if I just kept on in the manner I had been for some blind weeks now, an abandoned cottage, or a cabin or whatever, some shelter in store for me and me alone, where any predator, not to mention some unblinking eyes staring through every flower, every shrub and every long branch, could no longer reach me, or at least have to struggle and scramble in order to get a taste of me.  Without a pinch of effort on my part, and with no obsession either, I imagined being caught by my shirt sleeve or the hem of my ill-fitted pant legs by ancient-like teeth then feeling the teeth on the surface of my skin, after they pierced through my garb, then feeling the stained ivory beneath the surface, burning the inside of the flesh like the outside, turning the whole body to boil until, unbearable heat everywhere, the grace of numbness sets in and there is no more pain, no more pain of being prey to predator nor of anything else.

            Still one set of terrible eyes saw everything I did and every direction I moved, even though I could not for the life of me see myself and the world was like a mirror showing and reflecting me but a mirror in the dark.  What else could it be, I whispered to myself, the dark returning nothing of my voice, the horizon like no horizon, the woods like a dark enclosed room of arms reaching out from the dark into the dark, but Pijo, whose only streak of brilliance comes from his eyes as he charges towards you, those eyes that are always the last flint from the brush the unaware, because you are always caves and a whole nightlong trek behind Pijo, cannot see, in fact prays not to see, before he closes his eyes to the dark and to the magnetic lights and for good?  Pijo, the locals would say, with nothing short of gossip, all of them like old women and men, or children, going on about some forbidden magic or legend the children now have heard a million times and grew close to boredom in hearing yet again, he’s not after you to make of your flesh a meal.  I would have done anything to believe these elderly and childish people; thrusting myself ahead as I was, I was still scared, and lost because of how many times I had to turn around, in my fright, hoping not to see Pijo’s eyes through some tree’s broken limb or through the vines of the berries sprouting here and there throughout the darkness, it was as though I was turning but in one direction, but so often and with such slippage of my heart that I grew dizzy, so that the darkness spun round and round around me when I finally came to a halt.  What a stupid man I’ve become, I thought while the shades and shadows danced, these last weeks in the woods, in effect calling the beast over to me to have his way with me; he would find the dizzy one gawking at him like after some vague wish, then tumble into his mouth and stop the gaping mouth from laughing in the dizzy man’s dark-spinning face.  Pijo would say, if he ever talked, My, you want to join the others, and make a home for yourself here?  Here with me, and become the first thing on people’s tongues but the last thing from their thoughts and careful consideration?  He would question me like so if he came upon me, I thought, and if he could speak, if he cared to speak.

            Then there wasn’t a clearing, it was still purple like a cloth dyed and re-dyed for days on end, but there was a house, a house so small it fit between the shadows, a house like the mere dream of a house, and on the other side of the thickness, and though my eyes were as though covered in mud, there was Pijo, his yellow unflickering eyes making it seem, in their darting course above me, then at my level, then somehow below me, that he was tracking me like a good hunter from this, then that vantage point until, two points on the same plane as my eyes were then, they stop, as I stop and somehow see the spectral house, though there were no lights to speak of, no lights on through the slit curtainless windows or through the four places where the door cannot bear to meet the frame.  And then they rushed and I rushed too, they making a stunningly accurate line for an object in movement, I almost reaching the first cramped room leading to the narrow hallway to the miniature stairs, all dark and painted in dark but somehow there, but I was like an outsized and angered doll when I reached the door, I couldn’t fit, not the least of myself through it, I took one last breath, as though a little girl had squeezed me and wanted to hear me sigh, as the lights approached me without delay, until I felt the beast on my thrashing leg, not biting and piercing and eating, but licking and lapping and as though nursing.  It was funny, really, the sight of us two tangled up with one another in the thick and wrangling dark on all sides; anyone who came upon us then would think that I, a darksome thing myself, were fondling two floating, glowing, menacing, while tender, eyes, that the dark and the light were in love this way.

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