The woods are dark, and I walk without purpose. The moon outlines the trees’ ragged faces in pale silver. I wander under loose limbs, over malignant roots. The soil gives languidly as my feet press damp leaves.
I see a warm glow in the distance, illuminating the silhouettes of branches like a candle behind a screen. The glow means I am not alone. What other face will I see outlined in silver?
I creep behind creepers, careful not to make a sound. I see not one, but many bodies surrounding the glow. Many muscled shoulders slick with the moon. Horns that match her shape, muzzles snorting ghostly steam.
There are twelve minotaurs in a circle, quiet as monks, solemn as priests. Their sturdy bodies look made for berserking, but their muscles don’t so much as shiver. They face the center, their upraised arms raising the glow.
In that warm light, I see not flame, but two oversized men. Bald, naked men, mirror images of one another. My stomach clutches and twists itself, because I recognize the men as my own broken soul.
I know now what I came here to do. I step out from behind the brush, let the moon wash over me. I am naked in the moonlight. And I walk with purpose into the circle.