Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Maybe You Won't See Them

There's a snatch of humming blown in the wind. The woman comes into view. She's average height, average build. She wears a great warm coat and fur lined boots. Well, of course she does; the wind is bitter tonight.

She walks down the dark road at the side of the mountain all alone. Cars pass, and she is silhouetted in the glare of their headlights. Just a woman. But when the cars are gone, and the darkness descends like a curtain, she pushes back the hood on her coat and grins, a huge grin, at the moon. The sky is ringed with the fluorescent orange of the city but, up high, the stars are smiling back at her.

The woman is in no hurry. She hums her tunes and watches the world. She sees the lights that shape the buildings that shape the city; the towers and spires rearing up against the illuminations. She sees the patterns and shadows cast by the great wall of rock by the road, and she turns these into dragons and wolves and lizards to follow her. They scuttle and dance by her side as she continues on her way.

Soon, the woman comes to a village. The lizards twine their way up the lampposts, hanging as they taste the bulbs. The dragons soar to roost amongst the trees; to wrap themselves round the church steeple. The wolves sniff the air, and slink around the woman, suspicious. The woman continues her walk. Up the dimly-lit alleyway, and on to the street. There are lights in the houses at this time of year. Lights and gaiety and warmth. So much to look at.

Still, to see the woman, she is normal. No watcher would notice the wolves, spreading across the road like a river of fur and teeth. Nor the lizards, their elongated forms skittering behind her; or the dragons, old leathery wings smelling of time and decay. The woman's head turns from side to side now, looking, watching, seeing. She sees the vase of flowers in a window and the space around it. She sees a child's drawing proudly displayed. She sees the old man in the pub, nodding over a pint of beer, and the friends so lively as they chatter. She sees a table, set for dinner. Gradually, her pace slows. Although the night is only getting colder, she pulls off her knitted gloves and pushes them deep into her pockets.

The woman stands for a moment or two, tugging at her lower lip. She nods, and with a glance to her shadow creatures, chooses a house.

Then quietly, quietly, she opens the door.



At 11:45 pm, Blogger Nettie said...

Ooooh me likey!

At 8:21 am, Blogger Shawna said...

I like it, as well. I could totally see the shadow creatures all around the woman. I'd love to get to know her more!


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