15

I stood there for another moment, having cut around at still a small distance. It was quickly evident that the woman did not, or could not see me at all. I took a few steps straight toward her this time, startled to have suddenly prompted a cloud of small blackbirds to spring from the grass, where I had not seen them.They gathered together and flew off into the shroud of black and grey. Of unknown consequence, I somehow immediately knew there to be 40 of them. 

I resumed forward until I stood a cubit from the woman, who remained nearly motionless- though I could perceive the rising and falling of her breath. She sat cross-legged, with a loosely curled palm resting on her leg; in which precariously lain was a vial. She allowed it to roll from her palm and rest on the muddy earth. With a step closer I could see it to be identical to the vial the man had previously tried to offer me, with only one crimson drop left within. 

 I had to stop and marvel after the thought to realize that everything here seemed so much more real and clear than anything I remember seeing or feeling before. In an inexplicably otherworldly form, it was if I had never really noticed rain so consciously, or the wind had never swept through me with such bristling clarity. The clouds were so immediate and heavy that I was sure if I were closer I could have felt them. I still couldn’t bring a single other thing to mind of what I had known before or if I had ever been here previously. 

I sat down in the same manner across from the woman and studied her face. Her expression appeared downcast and her eyes as to communicate something inconsolably sorrowful; but I could not tell her tears from the rain. I took notice of a gnarled scar tracing from the left side of her neck, down over her collarbone, and out of sight.

An unknown time passed as I sat in that spot, enjoying the surreal silence and mysterious serenity of this grey place. 

A single desert locust jumped out from the dead grasses onto the hem of my pants. I reflexively flicked it away and looked back up.
 I wondered how long this would last, or how long I should stay before perhaps venturing off into the dark trees. The woman, whom I conjectured to be of her early 30’s, remained seated where she had been, moving only so slightly every so often to straighten her back, look around the field, close her eyes, or take a concertedly deep breath. 

It seemed as if another hour had slipped by and all I could bring to mind was to remind myself that this wasn’t real, that I was seeing it from somewhere else, far away- though it did not seem so, and I could remember nothing else.

She cross her hands up over her shoulders and rested her face in her arms, her eyes flashing up at the sky with a quiet sigh. In that flicker I was impressed with the undeniable feeling of deja vu, and tried again to recall any context by which I could allay such. 
There was again a silent voice in my head- and  every tiny detail came simultaneously flooding back into my remembrance, with vivid color. 

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