Into the Woods (part 5)

She rolled off it and lay back on the ground, panting and shaking. She was alive. And she began to laugh—a creaky, croaky sound at first, then loud, joyous, raucous. She stood, leapt around the dead demon and pranced through the grove—a dance with herself and Luna and the twinkling stars above. She danced and laughed and when she could dance no more, she found an ancient tree and rested among its gnarled, moss-covered roots. Laughter turned to tears. From unknown places in her soul tears came, and they would not stop. They formed a pool around her, and melted away her clothing. Even so, she was powerless to control them as she rocked in the cradle of the tree—back and forth, back and forth—throughout the very long night.

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