The Girl had given up long ago. You could see it in her eyes.
She had decided – as young girls often do when life turns on them, viper fast and twice as deadly – that self-protection was her only option.
She pulled up her drawbridge. She armed her battlements. She opted for ‘No’ when she desired ‘Yes’.
Oh, The Girl’s life was safer, alright. How could it be anything more when she had turned her back on the world? How could she take risks with her arms folded tightly across her chest and her hands clenched into tiny fists?
She looked, but she did not see. She observed and noticed nothing.
She turned inwards. She defended herself from anyone and everything.
And so, she disappeared.
Here’s my latest entry into Magpie Tales. I don’t know why this picture of cosy winter socks took me down this road. Sometimes, the muse is slant-eyed…
Please visit Magpie Tales for more creativity – you know you want to!
“This is where we marked her passing,” you say.
“She didn’t die here?” I hardly dare ask the question, my voice barely a whisper. You are a man for statements, not explanations.
“She did not die here,” you say. It is a bald statement.
Yet again, as has been our custom, I let the silence hang between us. It is a new routine, to replace those of my prior, solitary existence.
“She died out there,” you say, pointing to the hills that brood on the horizon.
“I am sorry,” I say, looking at you. You are staring towards those hills, as if to destroy them with your thoughts. I kneel down, reach out to brush the dust and lichen from the worn stone, to reveal her name to the elements.
“NO!” You grasp my arm, pull me up and away from the headstone. I bite down on the yelp of protest as pain arrows across my shoulders. You do not like dissent. I have learned this lesson well.
“She was careless,” you say and stride away from me. You mount your horse, landing in the saddle in one, supple move.
I turn my back and walk into the house.
You will return.
You will return.