Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Worlds within Worlds #2.8
This grove is as empty as the first one, the one in which I had watched the mad man crash and collapse.
I had left the avenue as soon as I had found the bag, following the trickle of the spring's water into the valley. Entering the woods, I had been on my guard: these trees were familiar in their form, but not their location – fruit trees and nut trees that had an air of care and cultivation about them. I was not keen to meet their carer.
As soon as I found cover I had taken a moment to search through the bag, before I hid it in the undergrowth. Then, armed with the comfort of stolen flint in my palm, I had covered my tracks and gone hunting for the grove.
It took me a while to find it. The usual paths leading to its enclosing hedge were badly overgrown, as if no feet had trod their length for the passing of many, many Races. The woman had taken care to conceal it within an outcropping circle of jumbled rocks, a little further inland and midway between the avenue and the river. I certainly would not have found it unless I had taken a big risk by climbing one of the rocks to see if I could see any signs from its summit.
'Why would a woman abandon such a well-built, well protected grove?'
I've stacked the skeleton woman's pots to one side of the hearth stone, and taken special care to recover and re-hide the leather bag, burying it deep in the earth and then camouflaging the trench so perfectly that I myself have problems spotting where I had planted it.
'Why leave a body by the side of an avenue? Why let its presence pollute the surroundings of a sacred spring?'
I've taken to whispering my questions into the air. I have little hope that these sounds will snare any answers for me; I just need to hear my voice ... any voice.
'What's happened here?' I mumble as I struggle to break the seal on the first jar. 'Where has everybody gone?'