January 23, 2019

Mudcakes drown in gray slurry stretching flat to the horizon. Bleak silence. Motionless. Two figures kneel.

‘Across there,’ says one. ‘It was in the dream. I do not know what it was. It hurt my eyes. I am too old. You go. I will wait for your return.’

‘Yes, Grandmother. I will find it. I will come back,’ says the young girl dressed in gray tatters.

The granddaughter rises, steps out and sinks knee deep into the muck. She grinds forward, straining, teeth clenched. Through the night she advances. Drops of sweat drip from her nose and leak from the furrows of her brow. She will not yield to exhaustion.

Day. Success. She drags herself from the slurry onto a shore of gray pebbles. Mist. In the gloom, she confronts the shadow barrier. A hedge. Gray, the color of her world. Gray, all that she has known. She pauses. The mist wisps away. Sun bright. She thrills. A shiver. Something beyond. She reaches out and thrusts aside twining branches of the hedge. She sees. She gasps. She weeps.

Red is beauty in a nest of green.

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