It began slowly enough. A gentle sloshing sound when she walked that only she could hear. A soft misery that only normalised when it rained. A mild moisture increase. Her friends didn’t seem to notice so she was sure there was nothing to worry about
But then came the damp. She could feel it rising up from the soles of her feet, filling her stomach, her chest, her head. She was a water balloon, a bubble. Her skin felt tight, a fragile film of surface tension holding against an ache of internal pressure.
When she popped, her friends finally noticed. Continue reading
Susan sat with her little girl on an ancient crumbling tomb, a respectful distance from her husband as he grieved; grey head bowed, tears falling on white flowers.
“Mum?” A grin was fighting its way to the surface of her daughter Amy’s face.
“Do you think this place is haunted?” Always the same question, always asked bright eyed and smiling.
“Could be sweetheart,” Susan replied before leaping at Amy, arms reaching out for a tickle. “Boooooooo!” Giggles and laughter echoed through the graveyard.
Her husband stood, turning from the two graves to leave.
“Bye-bye Daddy. We love you.”
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here.”
The mineral-surveyor started; the girl had just appeared, materialising like a dust-devil in the hot desert air. Red dirt coated her bare feet and skinny brown legs so that she seemed to blend directly into the land, more part of it than not.
Rich red dirt; rich in iron ore, rich in stories.
She stood silent on the baking earth and stared at him like an accusation. As the wind swept the rust coloured sand around them, he felt her questioning gaze:
What are you doing here?
You shouldn’t be here.