First there was pain. Blinding PAIN. He was disorientated. Confused. Then terrified: No...
NO! Should have seen it coming. Stupid. The chugging of the locomotive coming closer… the hissing… the whistle… the smell of smoke in his nostrils… her push in his back. She wouldn’t remember. Never able to recall her episodes after
“One day man will walk on it.” That’s what she’d said… first time he’d seen her. The moon - a thin cut in the sky, she’d been looking up at it… spellbound. That’s all it had taken… to know he was going to marry her. The first week after the wedding… all he could have ever dreamed of and more. Then it had started… her disappearances at night. He’d been scared the first time he’d noticed. Gone. Cold sheets in her place… where his wife ought to be. Shouting. She’d answered… she’d come back. A pale face emerging from the darkness between the trees… the smile of a child - found while playing hide-and-seek. Time passed… she came back to him less. Nothing but shadows to keep him company. For the fraction of a moment ANGER! But he wasn’t. He knew… he understood. She’d never had a chance. She’d told him, she’d ran and hid in the … pines… no matter how cold, nor how much she shivered…
She was a fast runner… but her father… faster most nights.
Her sister had died…
'Why death’s merci had overlooked her?'
The broken mind of a child in a grown-up’s body.
He’d loved her.
If he’d known…
could he have done things better?
Useless hindsight… a bitter pill.
His body thirty feet away.
Ringing in his ears. Floating.
The smell of his mother’s pumpkin pie. Cardamon.
And cinnam… Ringing.
His brother’s laughter.
The river. Their house. Ringing.
His father’s whistle.
Drumming. His father’s uniform. Gone.