Forest for the Trees

I did ask her about the antlers, once, after getting high before bed.

Forest for the Trees
Photo by Kieran White / Unsplash

by Tiff M. Z. Lee

I met her at Tommy and Yasmin’s wedding reception. Believe it or not, I noticed her tits first, before the cloven hooves or the antlers or the Christmas-y scent of pine forest. She had on this sparkly necklace that pointed right to the low neckline of her tight green dress. When I told her this, weeks later, she started draping her antlers with silk flowers, Mardi Gras beads, vintage mood rings - whatever she could find - so that no one would mistake her for ordinary, not even at a first glance, despite the distraction of those excellent breasts.

(I did ask her about the antlers, once, after getting high before bed. Take actual deer, for example - only the males had antlers, right? She replied after a long moment: Why should someone like me give a shit about the rules and gendered baggage of humans or deer? Then she nuzzled closer against me and we both passed out before I could think to ask more.)

We eloped six months into our relationship. My witness was Tommy, and hers was a young woman who was like a shadow, appearing and disappearing every time I blinked.

When our twins were born, I swore I heard flutes and the rustling of leaves. But they were soon interrupted by two perfectly human cries, and the local maternity ward was white and sterile and contained no obvious magic except new love.

We met him at a middle school PTA meeting. We had both started attending at the beginning of our trial separation, to prove to the world that we were still a family, maybe even a better one.

(I’m not normal, she had shouted in our last fight, the raw scent of rotting wood and damp soil filling the room. Don’t try to make me normal.)

The meeting was dominated by a single dad, a lawyer who had negotiated his own messy divorce, according to the whispers of the other parents. He had long hair, and sea glass was braided through it like stars. Wherever he went, he left a cloud of steamy mist behind. 

I met my wife’s hungry eyes with my own.

We moved fast. That night, we all met in the suburban home that I missed so much and he fucked me until every part of my body felt as liquid as water. Then my wife fucked him in turn (with a cock that she grew easily and casually, a skill she had never shared with me in twelve years), her still-perfect breasts misted by cool ocean spray.

Afterwards, we poured cheap wine and talked for hours, still snuggled under the blankets. Just me, my forest love, our new naiad boyfriend, and all of our kids safe in the next room, in air that smelled like Christmas and a beach vacation all at once.

 Tiff M. Z. Lee is a Canadian living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She can be found at if she ever gets around to setting up her website.