Sea of Grass and Mud

Holding tightly onto the neck of the fox the same way she does her father when he gives her piggybacks around the living room of their apartment, she kicks her feet and screeches like a banshee. The fox is bewildered yet not disturbed, for the little girl has given him the energy to keep going—her madness like the scent of raw meat to its searching nose. With the Ferris wheel looming ahead of them, over the noise generated by the marching trees, music flows like water from a tap. Distant and almost inaudible at first, the closer the two of them race through the sea of grass and mud, the more distinct it becomes until Gretchen is sure she can make out the words of a pop song floating like dandelions in the breeze. The words are something to do with ruling the world. It’s a song she recognises but can’t say from where exactly. It’s not the kind of thing her mother would listen to, and her father only listened to music on his headphones. Perhaps it had played in the supermarket when she went food shopping on the weekends, or she’d heard it blurting from a passing car when she stuck her head out of the window of her room, hungry for signs of life that were so often denied. Either way, the voice of the young man singing how nothing lasts forever tickles something inside of her, and as the light of the stars and the moon play with the curls of her hair, she chews the inside of her mouth as the kiss of static causes the smaller hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end. The fox’s fur stands on end also, and together, they ready themselves for the promise of a soon to be revealed secret.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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