He wasn’t meant to see her. She wasn’t meant to be seen. But, that night, the stars aligned and he caught her in his net.
In front of his wondering eyes, white feathers flowed into arms, a graceful neck curled into delicate shoulders and the bird’s beak melted into a human face more beautiful than he had ever seen.
He had cast his net intending to catch a swan, but its latticed windows now rested on a woman.
He drew back in shock. In awe. He pulled his net off and fell to his knees.
She drew herself up slowly, warily. Her head raised first, captivating him with her gaze. Her arms fell to side, as naturally as the fall of a wing. Her body unfurled, her legs uncurled and she stood in all of her natural beauty in front of her hunter.
She wore her skin as she would wear her feathers as she walked towards the man who had tried to capture her. She knelt in front of him, stretched out her hand and wrapped it gently around his throat.
“You weren’t supposed to see me,” she said.
His eyes were wide, his mouth open. He wanted to speak, but words wouldn’t help. He wanted to ask for mercy, for forgiveness. He knew the hand around his neck may be gentle now, but it would all be over in a moment.
He hung his head, “You weren’t supposed to be seen,” he whispered.
“Is the fault with me, then?” she asked like a mother humouring her naughty child.
“No,” he lifted his head and looked straight into her eyes, “It’s of my eyes.”
No more words were spoken. The hand released his throat and a taloned finger gently scooped out his eyes. The last thing he saw was a rainbow created by the moonlight in her teardrop.