Not Everyone Wants to Stay
(continued from Let Her Stay (pt3/8))
When Sarah was taken from them, it could have torn the tissue of their marriage. But instead of flying apart, they found something to bind them – the monster under the bridge – the eater of small children – for what is a troll other than that? Revenge became the meaning of their lives. And everyone knows that lightning frightens trolls away.
“But where are we going to get explosives?”
It was a mute conversation. Written in notebooks. Destroyed by fire.
“We’ll make them. Darknet cookbooks.”
“Yes, but what to lose?”
“Nothing. We have nothing.”
“They need to pay.”
They made love that night with a passion that startled her. He was ardent and she felt the response in her body. In her mind. Like clean shoes after standing in dog-shit. Yeah, as mixed up as that.
Even getting everything through the fence was easy. The cookbook knew ways. Sure, they had to have tracking-nano inserted into their bloodstream, but that didn’t matter. They just wanted to make a point, and then … then, they didn’t care what happened. The world would listen. The world would have no choice.
She slipped between elation and despair on an hourly basis.
One morning, she woke with the dawn to find a mist hanging over the garden. Trees, still drowsy with sleep, morose and shadowy, swayed with a life of their own. She stood, t-shirt grey against her body, watching the grey curtain holding down the grey grass and wondered how the branches could move and yet the fog stay still.
After several minutes? hours? of this, her husband’s hands – warm and solid, grasped her shoulders and her body came to the rest that she’d not realised she didn’t have.
Breakfast filled her with such energy that she emptied everything out from every cupboard and scrubbed every shelf. She washed every plate, pan and can, then set about packing them back. She got less than half way through before she collapsed into a chair, head on the table, where she remained until lunchtime. Raising her head, she surveyed the cans of food warily, as if they were cats that had suddenly demanded caviar in a voice that was half-feral, half-pleading.
The only times she didn’t miss her little girl were when she was asleep. She longed to dream of Sarah, but couldn’t find her beneath the layers of self-pity that organised her like a heavy blanket and yet even this couldn’t stop her from tripping on rocks that jerked her from sleep into terrified wakefulness.
Beware of pity, her husband told her. It will be the downfall of your heart. She wanted to ask him what he meant but was afraid of what he would say, so she waited in silence for the day when everything would be ready.
And soon, it was done. The substances were packed, messages primed, fees paid, paperwork complete, transport arranged and the knives in their minds sharpened to a finely honed edge.
Such sweet pain.
(continues in Let Her Stay (pt5/8))