Against her naked skin the water was cool, a touch tremulous, hesitating, like the first awkward admission of a prepubescent infatuation. The bottom of the pond was littered with clear ovals, like the eggs of an invisible and prolific serpent. The water was of an ethereal clarity that offered no visual impediment and thus little confirmation of its existence outside of the tear-shaped drops bejeweling her air-exposed flesh. “Why don’t you fetch one…” An ebony-skinned nymph suggested, voice a sultry whisper, unfastening inhibition. A synesthetic wine spilling warmly over her body, that voice transcendental, a Goddess’s prayer. She had no choice, the request combined with her curiosity, a course in constellations set.


Diving down beneath the surface, against the arms of Martian lovers, struggling deeper and deeper against the buoyancy of her curvaceousness, her fingers hooked around a solitary glass sphere. Surfacing, treasure wrapped in a diminutive fist and clutched to her breast, the other nymphs circled her smiling faces inquisitive. Unfolding her hand she looked at the transparent stone and then up at the raven-haired Venus from before, eyes imploring. “It’s for you…watch and see….”


Looking down the stone began to swirl with colors, Jupiter’s tumultuous eye, filling her hands with impatient thunder. “Who is that girl?” She asked on seeing herself for so enmeshed was she in this new identity that she could not distinguish her own face from that of a strangers. “That’s you silly…” One of the girls said laughing. “The other you…the one from before….” The other her? The girl did look familiar, the red hair, the hazardous green irises, drifting, unfocused, filtered through the flames of descending lashes. She was that girl, that tragic girl shattered like the husk of a lightning touched oak, in the corner, misery etched into her features. Sean was gone, she knew it when she looked at herself, at the devastation, at the scissors in one hand and the clump of dismantled tresses in the other. Was this her future? One of heartbreak and loneliness? Could she stay here enchanted, disillusioned, an Alice of the opiates? Here she might still be happy, loved by her sister Goddesses, pursued by the satyr, worshiped by virile men.


“First sorrow…than joy…” A nymph said stepping forward and wiping the tears from her cheeks, tears that Absinthe had not known herself to have shed. Watching the stone she saw her rabbits, her mother, Sean at a distance, the neighbor next door, days passed, perhaps years, it was a sea of swimming images, like a dream on waking, unformed, ungraspable, flashes of light slipping into gaunt shadows. Slowly the picture focused and she saw Sean, no longer the lanky silhouette of a youth, but a broad-shouldered man with square hands, and a devastatingly angled jaw. He was handsome, more so than the almost pretty barely 20 something male that lay world’s away. His hair was still unstreaked, eyes still unlined, only a few years had passed, still a young man, in a future not so unattainable, not so far that she could not bare the absence without being eaten alive.


She saw herself at his side, the smile that was so alien to that down-turned mouth, and the light slipshod over her face, in her eyes especially. This was her secret self, the one only Sean had glimpsed, bared shamelessly. She was prettier than she remembered herself to be, perhaps it was only the expression, perhaps it was the way their smiles combined and the way their bodies collapsed together, laughing into a bed she did not yet own, in an apartment that wasn’t hers or his but theirs. Maybe it was the plastic ring on her wedding finger, the childish hopeless romantic side that endeared her to Sean despite the side-stepping defenses that kept the rest of the world sidewalk bound. Happiness suited them, it felt natural, unforced.


“She’s going to leave us now…” One of the younger girls said bow mouth folded down. “She’ll come again…another life here….with us….” One of the older nymph’s assured brushing wet chocolate strands from chamois soft shoulders, a token of consolation that sufficiently subdued. Hearing the voices Absinthe pulled her eyes from the semaphore wiping them quickly with the back of her hand. “I promise…another time…all of me…undivided…” She said allowing the nymphs to embrace her and in her own joy remaining open and relaxed despite the press of naked breasts against her own and the lips smiling against her cheeks, farewells softly pressed into her memory. This was a moment too precious to fashion into metal coins, too precious not to bare nurturing, this world in which she almost belonged, a future far more distant then her mortal heart could ultimately fathom. She would return to Sean and no matter the cost to herself she would love him fully even knowing they’d fail the first time around. She did not know that her human mind was too fragile to hold such a memory intact, she did not suspect that she might forget these lovely women, her sisters. The only element to which her heart would hold was the silent vow of allegiance she made to both parties.


“I thought I’d lost you…” Absinthe looked down, Lilith at her feet tail snapping like a Dominatrix’s whip. “You had me worried….but you’re happy now right?” The Abyssinian asked indicating the glass stone with her nose. Looking down Absinthe still held the sphere though its face showed only the distortions of the surroundings like a fish-eyed lens. Shaking her head in reassurance, the feline satisfied, stood tail settling into a sinuous pattern. “Good…I’ve always been rooting for you…as far as humans go…I don’t think you’re the worst…” The cat said turning around sharply to discourage additional commentary along the sentimental vein. “Well come on with ye then…we’ve wasted enough time…”


(I thought it would be a happy ending to think of Absinthe in the future with Sean, I felt from the beginning they ultimately belonged. I have had a lot of seizures lately so not exactly sure how this even turned out. I am proud that I completed the challenge though way to go me!)

Submission for

We Write Poems


22 thoughts on “Absinthe’s Treasure

  1. def way to go you…i think you turned out a wonderful and magical story…you should let it rest a bit and then in a few weeks go back and edit it for fluidity and try to get it published…because it is very good…ha. i rather like the ending…smiles..

  2. Yippie! So glad you stuck it out! Starting to fall in love with this story. Patiently I await the next installment. And from a man’s POV, I don’t care about Sean, he can come and/or go as you please. Your female character is, so far, a delight. Her romantic inclinations can go where they will without need for a single point of focus! Just my opinion.

  3. Interesting. She carries the memory which she cannot articulate. She is happy with Sean,( but somewhere, somewhere the nymphs are waiting…) Very well expressed, you hint just enough..!.

  4. A treasure indeed – to hold that memory, make it come true.
    I think your other world could be expanded for other visitors.

    Thank you for your visits and support.

  5. A winding, and visually delicious journey full of texture, color, and vivid feeling. The ending just seems so…right. I’m glad to have gone along on this journey with you.


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