Day weaves through trees, wind calls in circles like an incantation. I see you: your Hunter wellies, your waxed jacket, your flask of warm pretence. You trail your shampooed dog through centuries of forest. You never see me.
Today you have a child in tow, pink and glossy as a cake. The dog pulls as you close on me, sniffs like a truffle-pig, scrats at bark. I hold my breath. I watch as the earth tells the dog, who tells the child, who picks up the talisman, presses its feather to her face, then slips it silently into her pocket.
This story won 1st Prize in the October 2021 Monthly Micro Competition.
About the author: Marie lives near fields and writes in the shed. She has short fiction featured or forthcoming in: The Birdseed, Catatonic Daughters, The Cabinet of Heed, Re-Side, Sledgehammer, Gastropoda, Free Flash Fiction and more.