by Andie Bottrell
Tabitha, of 80 years, had walked the earth- a wanderer. She'd grown up quickly after the death of her family by the hands of a tiny army. Now, for the first time in decades, she stood still. Unmoved in heart or motion. Around her fields of wheat and cotton. A breeze as humid and hot as the world could muster came and seemed to be blowing upwards and at her. Almost a beaconing.
She closed her eyes when the impulse registered and swelled up with all the memories of her life. Swing sets and laughter. Schooling and family dinners. Then, the tiny knocks, the tiny guns, the tiny, tiny, tiny hands of murderers so small you could seem to squish them with a thought and yet, they lived. Indestructible. Destructing all that she had known and loved.
Her eyes opened, paused, and closed again.
A black hawk cawed and once more thoughts from yonder ran foreward.
"I couldn't tell her not to talk to Johnny, although that's what I really wanted. So, I'd sulk around hoping she'd get the message and cut him dead." Her was Solomina. The love of Tabitha's life. Brown, tall, smart and fast as lightening. Tabitha wanted nothing more than to hold her and to run, walk, sit, stay, lay, lay down together with her forever.
After the tiny army killed her family, Tabitha tried to tell Solomina how she felt. There was a knot growing in Tabitha's throat the size of a cantaloupe and she feared she'd choke on her lust if she did not share it, but when she found Solomina she was sat at a tiny table with one of the most vicious members of the tiny army, Johnny Zdrovstvolstoff. He stood a foot and a half tall and was caressing Solomina's nail beds with a great, ferocious delight, whispering in his tiny, high tone how he was going to ravash her into unimaginable ecstasy.
Tabitha stood paralyzed in shock and heartache. How could Solomina accept his touch? This man who had taken everything she'd known and loved. She felt her legs and arms, her hands and face begin to tremble, as if her body could not stand it, would not accept it, could not stand it, would not stand still. Johnny was now climbing the tower of Solomina's elaborate structure and when he reached the top of her left shoulder he suckled on her neck, behind her ear, no doubt whispering more unmentionables, no doubt bragging of his diabolical feats.
The suck, their talk, was then, at once, stilted by the tumbling Tabitha. She'd crashed into the side of the house, caught in fright by an attacking hawk. CAW! CAW! Feathers flew! She'd snatched the fowl's menacing wings by the bare of her hands and shredded them to bits. The cawing ceased. Her hands, blood stained and feathered ran hot over her chest. Tiny footsteps tick-tocked and tip-tapped and for all of one second Tabitha caught Solomina's glance through the window. In that glance the second buoyed and elongated and defied the laws of time as she trembled in a feared betrayal, begged of her Johnny's death, questioned her motives, searched for meaning, and at last, sulked in a final act of deafetist hope. Solomina's only response was a cold, still stare- the kind that can freeze love right on the spot.
From there, that instant, she took off running, never looking back or even sideways. She moved, constantly, she moved and did not stop. And like this she wandered, earth-ridden, downtrodden, heart-broken, but her body seemed determined to simply walk it off. She walked and ran, she wandered and she could not stop. Like this her life passed by her, time running ever just ahead of her, her body in a constant state of motion trying to surpass it in a hopeless effort to leave the past behind.
Her eyes opened once more at the CAW of another hawk, a tiny crowd of hawks had gathered, circling in the sky above her head, ready to descend upon her. The fiery breeze blew up hotter than before and pulled, sucked, burnt through the soles of her warn out, fragile feet. Looking down, in what would be her final act and motion, she found her hands beginning to flow red in anticipation for the at last and much awaited end.