Tuesday, 12 August 2008
The summer meadow
And in a minute, the mists came down on the summer meadow and frightened the bees away.
Condensing across the countryside, the thick blight rolled in with the grace of a ghost, hanging upon trees, lush in their rich summer hues. Everything in the meadow drank greedily then of the hovering water.
Luke was in the field, sitting there, crying amongst the long grass. Three strange children stood over him. They’d come as soon as the mist – they seemed to effervesce into life – and there they were standing over my cousin.
The whole family were searching for Luke. He hadn’t come in for his supper, but I knew he’d be right where I left him, still crying. And so he was but, as I stood at the meadow's edges and watched him, in rolled the mist and then the children.
These children were grave things and almost green in complexion, it appeared. They seemed to rise from the meadow itself, as blades of grass or willow stalks, and when they were upon him he stopped crying and I couldn’t see him anymore.
I shouted then, at these children and vaulted the gate, tearing through the field towards Luke. The three children merely glanced at me before dissolving back into the ground, draining away like meltwater.
When I came to the spot where Luke had been I could find no trace of his body. There was just a hollow, where the reeds and grasses were broken, where Luke had sat alone for an hour and cried.
Ice shards pricked my spine as I stood in that cursed meadow, and I ran in terror back to the humid garden and to my family. I stood still, on the full lawn, readying my mind with words; preparing the explanation that would tear all our worlds apart.