|She went out, because in some soft, tentative way, she had to.
The ground was cool, the air almost cold with wet, and as wonderful and free as it was, for a moment, she felt vulnerable… but, truthfully, in her state, in she would have felt unprotected in Kevlar. Later, in the cacophony of the house, she would know that a hug could have outmatched even that, for comfort, but now there was something free about her long cotton skirt, blue shirt with the slashed sleeves, and no underwear to be seen. If she couldn’t have protected, windblown and fey was alive.
She walked, tentative as a cat by the sea, wary of thorns. There is something compelling about picking blackberries, she mused. -The sweetness, and perhaps a touch of danger, the ever present knowledge that efficient suicide is within a few steps and a leap of faith. I like it.
The step ladder had been left by the window, behind the garden, and in the brief few days since its use, three spiders had anchored their homes to it. The rain pooled in the fig leaves and down her neck, and she shuddered, in cold or ecstasy was for philosophers to decide, today she simply was.
Perhaps it’s unreasonable of me, she thought, as she wrestled it through the narrow brick walk, to expect a lack of insects in my nature. Still, shaking a pincered bug from her arm with a shriek, she felt vaguely… violated, that what had the makings of a true Moment was interrupted by an... an… insect. She wondered, sullenly, if it was venomous.
She stayed out there for almost an hour, murmuring narrations to herself to be forgotten immediately in the wake of the next breath.
She stopped, once, and whispered, quite clearly “She truly, deeply suspected-“ and lost all trace of the thought. A man yelled, “Hey!” He shouted, and she almost jumped off her ladder in surprise. It ripped through the silence and demanded acknowledgments she didn’t have. Words bubbled in her throat, and instead, she laughed, breathily, to herself and anything caring to watch.
A good few moments were spent trying to decide between peace and disappointment, when the thunder rumbled, that no one called her in. Oh, she knew it would be met with scorn, or a flippant demand for help if anyone wanted her back so badly, but still. She would have treasured the thought, in some secret place. She wanted to go back in, then, to savor the memory, and knew with ironic certainty that it wouldn’t mean half as much when she did. Her cuts and womb would hurt, she would shiver, the bucket would be sadly far from half full, oh the woes of the world, and it would all be cheapened.
The thunder rumbled, and what she could reach in the holly tree was depleted. She wandered, a bit, but decided quickly enough that cat dung was no more romantic in quasi dreamlike states than it was on any other day.
Eventually, the dream like state shifted to true dream, and she slept, sweetly, and tasted blackberries and cool water like the essence of some secret memory.