Lost in a forest
“I got lost in a forest again…”
I was walking barefoot in the forest last night — I know, it’s irresponsible, I could have caught a cold, but I did have a cape on under my sheer dress. It was mostly dark, except for the light of the moon. I roamed around the forest with shadows of anxiety following my every step, while the cold wind kept blowing my hair off my shoulders and asking me, “Where is the darkness Madeliene Rose?”
Despite the heaviness in the air, I was drawn to the disturbing allure of the haunt. It was a long time since I stood close to something so unsettling. There were large lashed eyes floating around, staring at me; clocks melting on twigs and birds with the bodies of naked women, sitting crossed legged high up on the trees. I could hear church bells being rung somewhere distant.
I kept walking, feeling the shadows resisting my every step, but I was utterly wanting. No matter how far I went into the forest, there remained the same birches, the same birds, the same clocks oozing away, except it kept getting darker and I could see less of myself. After a while, I noticed the frail figure of a man playing the piano. His back was to me but I was sure he knew I was there.
Wearing black and white striped pants and a pink blazer that was stained with the black ink of the branches, the man kept resting his bright yellow covered feet on the piano pedals. No sound came out of it; instead, small clefs came towards me, stroking me behind the ear and neck, and summoning goose bumps. I could feel the shadows pulling me back by my hair, so I had to move closer.
Moving slowly towards him, with the shadows following behind, the figure did not stop playing the silent piano. Hunched over, his head bowing to the keys, he turned his face to me when I stood near him so that I could see he had none; there was only the void. Perceiving my weakness, the shadows pulled me back, running out of the forest into the familiar light. I don’t know when I will ever go back.
Story credits: Valentino Haute couture; Vogue UK; Ann Demeulemeester; Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory; René Magritte’s Collective Invention; Surrealism.