It was dark in the cavern of the forest. Black had become darkness, and other colors fell away to reveal shifting patterns of gray. The only break in the silence, a silence so worn the edges had begun to unravel, was a hushed and wanting breath. The sound of feet stumbling sounded from behind shrouded bush, the shock wave mimicking the hand of wind.
The man was tired, so far gone that he noticed not the soundlessness of the forest, nor the way the light of the moon skirted across the ground, but did not touch it.
Had he been aware, some part of him might have felt the sick terror, one that grips like the sudden realization of something lost and forgotten, but the light was gone from his eyes, and he saw nothing. He should have known better than to trust a place of silence. Known better than to take silence as a nod of permission.
He paused. The night was young, or so the position of the moon led one to believe. The place was ripe for settling, for a night or so. Need blinded his movements as the fire was made from unwilling wood, and food taken from what was never made to sustain others.
He lay down to sleep, not seeing that the fire cast no color on the world around him.
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