As her tears began to subside, the blurry trees above came gently into focus. Their branches stretched upwards, yearning for a fleeting glimpse of
light in the ashen sky. For years they had stood in their apportioned spot, prisoners of this bleak landscape. Their only chance was to head up, up,
away from the confines of their earthen cell.
The damp leaves on the woodland floor had soaked her to the skin. The tears flowing from swollen eyes had burned as they fell, their warmth a pitiful
contrast to the dank chill she felt surround her. She craved the times that her tears came, in a twisted way. They offered relief from her insensate
existence, a chance to feel again in her deadened world.
She began to wipe the bracken from her clothes and then stopped. It didn't matter any more. The rituals of being civilised were hard habits to break;
they had never been for her anyway, they were always for others' approval. Now she didn't need anybody's approval, but she hungered for it
nonetheless. She kept herself away from the others. The pity in their eyes had been hard enough to bear, but had she known what was to follow, she
would have welcomed it. For pity soon leads to frustration and from frustration comes avoidance. And so now, in an unspoken pact, she kept herself
away. She rose from the richly scented earth, where the worms lingered inches below, waiting to serve their Universal master and turn all back to
As she walked back up the glen, a stag caught her eye. Silhouetted against the winter sky, he stood defiant of all she portrayed. Poised momentarily
on feral limbs, his chest thrust out, he turned and fled from this Cailleach who stumbled towards him. Her sorrow affronted his sense of vibrancy and
hope for the spring. His exquisite form disappeared back into the woods and left her alone again, heading for home.
Home had once been different and to think of it as it had been then had become intolerable. And so she sought not to think, only to do. Once a year it
became excruciating and she could only run from the pain, run until she fell deep in the woods where no one would hear her screams. Thick scars around
both wrists attested to her torment, grotesque jewellery which she wore in secret.
A dusty mirror faced the wall in her home. She could no longer watch herself breathe without feeling the sharp pain that came from knowing that her
little girl could not. For three short years her life had been filled with joy and baking and toys and laughter. Song had filled their home together,
little nightclothes warming on the fireguard, morning sunlight streaming into a sleepy bedroom. All of these had gone, ravaged by disease, by a cruel
twist of fate that had taken her little girl away.
Restless as always, she walked out to the storeroom. The cold mist lay around her shoulders, offering cold comfort in another endless moment. The
dolls that she could not throw away stared back, unblinking in the gloom. She watched them as they lay frozen in limbo; impossible to throw them away
but inconceivable to take them back to the house. They would remain in their purgatory for as long as she would, collaborators in this tragedy.
She reached for a tin tucked high on the top shelf. On the lid Lucifer reposed in marble, his leg shackled to the ground. She felt a gentle affinity
with this beast, not quite human and abandoned by his kin. Inside this tin lay six photographs, now faded and creased but still able to pierce the
numb veil around her heart. She glanced at them, not seeing the images just needing to feel them in her hand. She walked back to the house, to wait
edit on 10-4-2016 by beansidhe because: added code