The Obsidian Rose and the Night Breeze
The Obsidian Rose sat alone in the tranquil twilight, lost within his deepest thoughts. He was keenly aware of his surroundings as he gazed upon the scene with a solemn grace that mirrored his musings. The stars glittered in the night sky like thousands of tiny eyes which winked at him from afar as if they wondered or perhaps even knew that which was on the rose’s mind. A gentle wind whispered as it passed through the trees which had been kissed by the icy lips of autumn, telling the forlorn secrets of that most frigid eve of eves. Somewhere a chorus of crickets and other nocturnal insects sang a soft sweet melody which echoed in the hollows of the night with a melancholy resonance, as if serenading the blissful chill that swept over the land. The Obsidian Rose’s skin prickled as he felt the icy tendrils of the autumn night seeking to find any way beneath his garb to caress the tender skin beneath. If he felt the cold at all, the rose did not show it, as he remained still despite the involuntary shiver that made his body tremble from head to foot; even so, he dared not move.
A voice like an Oracle of old broke the silence which seemed all but tangible despite the ambience which surrounded him. “Why,” it asked, “do you sit here so… in the cold and all alone?” Upon a brief pause the voice pursued with another inquiry, one based in piqued curiosity. “What is it that you seek… or more importantly, what have you found?”
Drawn from his thoughts, the Obsidian Rose turned to face the Night Breeze which had but only moments ago swept through the trees uttering the arcana of the night to the lethargic hardwoods who prepared for their long winter’s nap. She had not the face of a crone as many might have imagined, but instead seemed eternally young and lithe, with a faerie-like appearance, with the face of a Muse, classic and beauteous. “I have found that which is profound, and yet confounds me, milady of the frigid night,” he replied almost distantly.
“I have watched you for many seasons, oh man of the Obsidian Rose,” she replied, intrigued by the musings of this man; “it must be great and terrible, indeed, to trouble one like you. So, tell me Obsidian Rose, what is this calamity that you have found?”
“Oh it’s no calamity, mistress,” he responded, “but something more…” He paused and took a deep breath laboring against the weight in his chest, for the air he sought, and in that moment, it seemed all the world stood still. It was if nature herself wanted to hear what this mere man had discovered. Even the moon and the stars which had gazed upon him since the waning of the daylight leaned in to hear what he had to say. …and so, with a heart, burdened by his thoughts, he began-
“I found in my journey, a power unlike any other. It can achieve wonders like nothing in the heavens or upon the earth.” A rustle nearby saw a wisened old owl light in the tree nearby to hear the story unfold, and it was joined by several small animals who also wished to hear this tale. “This power is lost on the rich, and sought by the poor, yet is found by the unlikely. It is often wanted but rarely truly gained by those who seek it and desire it most. This mystical force is often abused by those who have it and abandons those who long for it. It can heal a soul or drive a silent, killing blade deeper; it can ease one’s pains or leave an unbearable agony in those whom it leaves; It can bridge gaps between entire nations or can drive them to war.” The spectators gasped as they heard the power of this mystical force. “This power can breathe life into the dying yet at the same time it can slay without mercy in all its benevolence; it can make a coward brave and turn the brave into cowards. This power can turn despair into glory or steal the glimmer from gold; it can make a man feel like a king or turn a throne room into a prison cell. It can close the distance of a thousand miles, yet it can make an inch feel like a thousand miles. It can humble the Graces, still the Furies, and spur the Muses into motion…” The Obsidian Rose, paused to look at the gathering about him as the woodland spirits and all of nature itself gathered around the feet of the Night Breeze, then he continued. “It is a power, a force of nature, which in and of its own authority can take the sting from death, and yet it can drive a stake of grief into the hearts of those who long for it and are without it. It has the ability to make or break the world, and even render Gods powerless before its awesome might… and it is why I sit here cold and alone, with only the stars to keep me company on this night.”
“This is a great power indeed,” the Night Breeze replied, the grimace in her features betraying the thoughts within; “what sorcery is this… this magical arcana you have so found… and why is it I have never heard of it?” Troubled, she kneeled to ponder this force of nature.
“It is no sorcery, my dearest Night Breeze; nor is it any form of magic for it transcends both.” The Obsidian Rose replied turning to face her. The moonlight glimmered upon a small diamond-like formation at the corner of the man’s eye, which shone like that of a star. The glittering jewel traced a silvery path down his face, to fall and become lost amid the wild weeds and grasses of the field. The Night Breeze was taken aback at this spectacle for never had she seen anything of its sorts in all her immortal years.
“Then, by all means, what is this mysticism which brings crystalline moisture from you’re your eyes and leaves you so humbled,” She inquired unable to contain the curiosity at this magnificent force.
“It is called Love,” Obsidian Rose answered profoundly, and yet brokenly at the same time. “This power which is mightier than any other… is… Love!” His voice became hoarse and his shoulders slumped with what seemed to be the weight of the entire world.
“…And this troubles you; it pains you…” The Night Breeze questioned softly as she approached and began to swirl about him, “why?” The woodland spirits looked to one another, each in turn understanding what the fleeting Night Breeze could not, for she was not prone to such musings. The moon and stars had witnessed the very things of which the Obsidian Rose had spoken and knew their magic. …and in that moment, they felt his pain for they too had watched this man for many seasons. They knew the times in which they had witnessed him come to this very field wishing for the things he could not seem to have, yet he named here on this very night. …and they were humbled by it.
“I have felt love; I have given love, and I have even fell in love… but never has anyone truly ever loved me in return… so yes, yes it does trouble me,” the Obsidian Rose spoke with his head bowed. “I am often left to wonder, no matter how good I try to be, for all the love that I have to give… am I just…unlovable?”
In awe and in grief, a silvery star fell from the heavens, its path blazing in a trail of purest platinum as it lit up the night. …And in that fleeting moment, a single diamond-like tear fell from the other eye, joining the star’s journey, sealing with it a solemn wish that it alone carried. The Night Breeze caressed the Obsidian Rose and placed an icy kiss upon his cheek. “This is for you, Obsidian Rose, and the love that you hope to find. I wish for you to find the love you seek, and may happiness fill your days and the nights to come, but the time has come for me to go my way for the dawn is soon to come. No matter where you go, or where you are, I shall be watching you my Obsidian Rose be it near or far.”
In the echo of her final words, the Night breeze took flight, disappearing back into the shadows from whence she’d come. The moon and stars, too, had returned to the heavens with a yawn and glance toward the eastern sky, and with them the woodland spirits returned to the sanctity of the solemn boughs of the autumn kissed trees. Only the wisened old owl stayed behind for a moment as if weighing the night’s discussion in the eternal balances of age and wisdom before regarding the man with a look and a touch of his wing as if giving an approval he could not voice. With what seemed to be a nod, the owl took to the air, leaving to find his place of rest amid the trees. Once more, the Obsidian Rose sat all alone with his aching heart in the middle of the field surrounded by a myriad of glittering tears which had fallen from the starlit sky. …and as he finally felt the icy touch of the night’s chill, he dared to hope.