The blood is watery, not like blood at all. More like cherryade. Reminds me of the stuff I used to drink as a kid during those endless summer holidays where time and life had no place next to dreams and imagination. If I’m lucky, I squint and see those days quite clearly, but I’m not able to touch them. They’re like fleeting shadows on a wall or the blots of ink that move across my eyes.
“You’re bleeding,” she says.
Smearing it over my lips with my forefinger, I taste that familiar copper-tang. It’s the same taste I get from going down on her when it’s her time of the month. She’s usually non-too pleased when I do—says the messiness makes her feel indecent—but to eat her out when she’s like that allows me to be closer to God.
“Why are you bleeding?”
Frowning at me with the sun on her shoulder, the wind blows dead leaves about her hips, and they rustle like a bag of buttons. Brightly coloured ones in a bag that once contained an abundance of sweets. The sugary kind that makes you squint your eyes when you suck them. My grandparents used to be in possession of such a bag, although what happened to it is beyond my knowledge. Perhaps it passed over to the other side when they did; gone but still around, like those shadows and blots of ink.
“I’m not sure,” I reply.
“Did you knock yourself trying to climb up?”
“I don’t think so.”
The leaves continue to rattle like buttons and the bells that chime in the distance chime as if to celebrate a day like no other. Licking the blood from my lips, I breathe in the dusty scents that swirl around the scent of her, and for a brief second, I forget where I am.
“Why are you bleeding? Tell me this instant!”
Shaking my head, a single dead leaf falls from above. Twirling before my eyes, it gives its all and then drops to the ground along with the many others awaiting the next dance.
“I think I’m moving through time,” I say.
“We’re all moving through time,” she replies, wrinkling her face.
“No, not forwards, but backwards. Perhaps sideways.”
The whites of her eyes match the whiteness of her teeth in anticipation of whatever revelation I have in store for her.