Elusive Beauty

Elusive Beauty

The yearning draws you deeper into the dream, muffled crunches echo from your hurried footfalls on the shell-strewn path. Once again, the lush tropical underbrush blurs into an oppressive wall of menacing vegetation.

What had just happened?

The memory of the stag’s gaze pulls your attention inward, the power of that beseeching message not lost in translation. It was a stag, yet you know deep down in that place where you still believe in fairy tails, that it was much more than a fleeing beast. The gaze had been human, and what had it been trying to say?

Shaking your head, abruptly banishing that crazy thought, you look ahead, searching for a break in the vegetation, needing a place to sit and rest, somewhere that you could replay the memory and try to figure it out. The need to understand what had transpired growing more insistent with every passing minute.

And what of the hands, breaking out of the bowels of the earth?

Your flesh tingles; across your neck and back the tiny hairs stand erect, expecting those very hands to land in harsh retribution for witnessing their failure in capturing the stag. The cadence of your footsteps quicken, unconsciously trying to evade the hostile touch. It was him, the dark thought pushing you to walk even faster, your pace just short of a panicked run. Were there caverns beneath the mulch hiding the Hunter?

Your controlled pace breaks suddenly, throwing you into a full run, your feet freeing your heartbeat to match the frenzied pace as you become a slave to the fear washing over you. The cool breeze now gone, sweat trails race along your skin, slipping down your neck and curving around the bend of your clavicle and down along the edge of your breast. Your nightgown begins to stick to your skin, and the long strands of your hair pull against your scalp, as the ends stick to your neck and back.  The heavy mugginess makes it hard to draw in the hot air as you labor to breathe, and still you race along the path looking for sanctuary.


A cool breeze slides against the hot skin of your neck and chest, lifting the soft cotton nightgown off of your skin as you round a bend in the path, your damp hair floats away from your neck in the sudden change, the cool air slides along your body swiftly banishing the panic you felt moments earlier. Your pace slows to a stop, as you pause, taking in the view of a haunting bayou stretching out before you beneath an incredible moon.

Slowly, you walk to the water’s edge, fingertips trailing along the length of an ancient tree growing out over the water, its trailing roots embedding themselves into the rich soil with what appears to be fingers. The beauty before you blurs the sinister aspect of the tree into a forgotten thing as you climb up into the branches and perch there silently, watching the magical scene before you.

Silvery moonlight bathes the bayou in mysticism, and dolphins play in the depths, their antics bringing a gasp from your throat, as they dance just for you. Beneath your swinging feet, unnoticed by your entranced gaze, deer tracks litter the wet soil.

For now, it is enough to just watch the moonlit bayou, a peaceful interlude that feeds your searching soul.


This is a composite of seven images. All of the images were photographed by myself in  SW Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and my studio. This week I found myself in a time crunch to complete this image. I usually post to my blog early on Sundays, but I got caught up doing a special image for a friend. I did manage to get everything done though, and I hope that you are enjoying my composites, and the little story that accompanies them. I am including the image that I did for my friend. The first image is the original picture that she took with her phone, the second image is the composite I created from it. It will give you a little perspective on my artwork, and how I strive for a photorealism in my dreamscapes.

IMG_2678Facing the Storm


Until next time,

Sweet Dreams,

Mary Michelle


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