It was magic as usual in the Grove. The Sun shone softly, embracing everyone in her radiant golden warmth. The Wind nipped playfully at everything in her path. The wet Earth moulded herself comfortably hugging the curves of anything that tread on her. The long Leaves danced gracefully to the tunes of the breeze. It was, indeed, magic as usual.
A mystical rush of breeze brought in the playful Maiden. On time, as always. She sailed in and lit up everything in her path. The Sun shone softer, the Wind swirled around her leading her deeper into the grove, the wet Earth moved under her feet to allow her to glide gracefully, the Leaves snuggled closer at her touch and everything swayed to her rhythm.
Her tinkling laughter, coupled with the movements of the inhabitants of the Grove, was like music never heard before. She took her time, as always. She teased the Leaves. Laughing, she raced playfully with the Wind. Flipping her lustrous, black mane at the Sun, she twinkled at the wet Earth who was trying to hug the sole of her feet. The inhabitants of the Grove were enthralled by her mystical playfulness.
The wet Earth noticed it first. There was another presence in the Grove. One that no one recognized. An unwelcome, watching presence. It hid behind the Leaves and watched. When the Leaf shook the presence off, it moved behind another one and watched the Maiden. The inhabitants tried to block it. The wet Earth hardened with hostility under the feet of the presence. The leaves bent over the Maiden trying to hide her. The Wind lashed out furiously at the presence. The Sun shone hard in an attempt to send a glare into the eyes of the watcher. All the inhabitants stiffened trying to shield the playing Maiden from the watcher.
All the stiffness woke the Maiden up from her playful oblivion and she looked around, startled at the sudden hostility of her hosts. She looked one way and the other and then she spotted the presence. Surprise and then fear shot through her nearly breaking her. She spun around and glided through the leaves trying to get away from the watching. She moved deeper into the Grove trying to get as far away as possible. Trying to shake off the feeling of being watched.
The presence followed her a while and then stood still watching the Maiden glide away. The inhabitants stood by helplessly as the secret of the Grove was revealed. After that, the Grove was never quite the same.
The Maiden never came back.
Neither did the presence.
Styling by Nikita Mahendra
Content & Photography by Anjali Devaiah
Jumpsuit – Tibet Plaza | Belt – Forever New | Armlet – Toniq