Sunday, 8 September 2013

68. The small window opposite me

****Sorry about the technical problems with the highlighted text, I'm having some trouble figuring out why that's happening. It's not intentional, please ignore****

I look through an iron grille in a wooden door. The small window opposite me is so obscured with ivy that everything in the bare stone room is dimly lit green, as if I am underwater.
In the middle of the room, a girl of about eight or nine lies on a rough block of stone like an altar. She is wearing a shift of thin white silk and there’s a delicate gold crown on her head, over her tumbled dark hair. Her hands are crossed across her chest, over a bouquet of calla lilies. Her eyes are closed and she is faintly smiling. She is dead.

I remember that the nuns brought her here, that she is the sacrifice. She won’t decay in this room, she will be like this forever. I feel terribly sad. Delicate silk on rough stone, her soft dark curls twining on rock.

I wake to find I must have left the door open last night.

Rammstein has got in my room, got on the bed, got in the exact geometric centre of the bed and then stretched out diagonally to the longest cat he can be. He has forced me to sleep perched on the edge of the mattress.

Before I can process this, he realises I am awake and begins jumping on and off the bed loudly demanding his breakfast.

There are some people who think keeping pets is akin to slavery,” I say.


I sit up and swing my legs over the edge of the bed. Rammstein rubs his soft, furry head against my bare foot. The sensation is lovely and I hold out my foot to encourage him to do it again. He nips my big toe, hard.

If there is a slave in this relationship, it isn’t you,” I say.


We walk to the kitchen, Rammstein running ahead, anxiously returning every so often to check I'm still on my way and haven't somehow forgotten that it's time for him to be fed. I give him some chicken chunks and scratch his head.

I wander through to the living room and flop on the sofa. It is Saturday morning. It is 6am. I try and remember my dream. A dead girl. Before that, fire, gunshots, a hand circling my throat. The usual crap.

I run a hand through my hair. It's greasy. Last night I went out with Jena, Suzy and Michelle. We went to a bar and then another bar and then another bar and then a club. My memories of the evening are fragmentary.

I open my handbag to look at my phone. As well as my phone and my purse, the bag contains a large purple plum.

I stare at it. No, it is definitely a plum. And it's definitely there.

Why do I have a plum in my handbag?

Where did I get it? Whose plum is it? Where on earth did I find a plum between 11pm when my memories start breaking up and...what time did I get home, anyway? It's not even the right time of year for plums. What the fuck is going on here?

I pick up my phone and start texting Jena.

I've found a plum in my handbag, do you know where... No. Look, this is all wrong. I can't text Jena about this, it just sounds weird.

I'm too hungover to cope. There's only really one way to deal with this, which is to shut the bag again, pretend the plum isn't there, have an Alka-Seltzer and then go back to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment