The vines were alive. They writhed like snakes as he ran a hand over them. As one, they untangled themselves from the shrouded shape of the spear. A few even dropped off entirely and nudged at his ankles. Underneath, the weapon gleamed with the soft, wet shimmer of fresh growth.
Around it, he could make out the silhouette of something that was almost human. Luminous green eyes. Roots wrapped tightly into the shape of arms, legs, musculature. Foxglove flowers blooming in the hollow of a throat.
A forest demon persisting long after it had been cut down and sanded into a useful shape.
Beautiful, Liam thought. This feeling might be awe. If he didn’t need to keep moving forward, toward it, he would have fallen to his knees.
For a moment, the ringing paused, and the vines slowed in their movements. “I am not dead,” said the voice that wasn’t his own. “You did not kill me. Even like this, you cannot tame me. Raise me, and I will live again.”