Love takes time. So, so much long, agonizing time.

We were separated too long ago, spirited away by the will of the forest. Each day, while the dew is still fresh and the ancient spirits slumber, I begin my search for her. Each day, stretching my body to the limit. Each day, setting out slowly, thorough in my search. Each day, the weight of my home and possessions pressing down on my back. My home isn’t much, but I do hope she delights in seeing it once again. I’ve done my best to keep it shining and gleaming for her. Perhaps she will spot its familiar shape first amid the dense vegetation.

The days fold into one another, each one feeling all too similar to the last. Even the birds have grown silent. I feel at times that I am cursed to wander in circles, entombed in this blasted forest for eternity. Each crumbling relic has become all too familiar. The rich moss that clings to their stony visages binds them here as well. When the nights are especially cold and damp, they are my refuge. My fellow prisoners forever entombed in verdant green. I often wonder about my companions. What was their purpose in life, and what sin did they commit against the gods to wind up here? I often wonder about the same things about myself. Did our love somehow spite the gods?

Last night, I was awoken from my slumber by a long, mournful howling. Panic overtook me. I shook the loamy earth from my back and hurried in the sound’s direction. What if my love was in dire need of my aid? Could I make it in time? By dawn, I had traveled far but found no sign of my love or the origin of what woke me. I looked about, realizing I was in one of the few clearings I had found in my travels. Dense overgrowth gave way to cool, smooth stones that loomed above me. In times past, I had nearly been blinded by a gleaming tower of silver, crowned in blue embedded at the peak of this structure. Today, I stared in disbelief—the tower was gone! Vanished without a trace, ripped from the timeless monument that held it.

Exhaustion racked my body and I collapsed, sliding my body down against the ancient stones. What if, like the eternal tower before me, my love is gone forever?

Weeks—or what I assume were weeks—have passed since. I still search for her, but I do not cover as much ground. My soul is crushed, and I spend more hours of each passing day mourning her golden features and heart that brimmed with love for me. How I long for the nights when we would rest side-by-side, our homes touching as we huddled in for warmth. As night closes in again, I pull myself into one of the giant antiquated structures that dot the Sacred Grove.

Rain softly drips outside, the rhythm lulling me to sleep. As my eyes droop, heavy with exhaustion and sadness, I have a vision. Before me, stands a giant clad in green. His voice, which should be booming and terrifying, is gentle as he speaks to me in a language I’ve never heard before. The dark imp that accompanies the Giant is curt but also does not seem to wish me harm. In one deft motion, I am in the giant’s hand, hoisted higher and higher into the heavens.

The shock wakes me, snapping my attention into clear focus.  Every blade of grass, every relic is laid before me and for the first time, I realize how small my view of the world truly was. My eyes dart over this new landscape, desperate to spot even the faintest glimmer of her gold in the distance. I run to the edge of the giant’s hand, daring to peer over.

The giant chuckles, gingerly plucking me by my shell and turning me to bring his face to mine. His features are not unlike the stone giants, but alive and full of color. Soft, wheat-colored hair frames his face, held in place by a viridian colored hat. As the dark imp sighs deeply, I break my attention from his ultramarine eyes and spot the blue crown of the long-lost silver tower over his shoulder. So this was the giant who changed the landscape itself.

With one last soft laugh, I am once again moved—gently placed atop blades of grass inside a glass container. I crane my neck to find an exit, but that’s when I see her. My beautiful golden love was not taken from this world. Eyes brimming with tears we run to one another, embracing the only way we know how—necks entwined and shells touching.

Brittany Lindstrom is a writer for Zelda Dungeon. When not writing odes to snails in love, she spends a lot of time talking about Dungeons & Dragons on Twitter or sharing her art on Instagram.

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