A girl sits in a clearing and rips grass
out of the ground then tries to stack
the blades on top of each other but the
wind makes it difficult to keep the tower
standing. The boy who drove her there is
using his knife to scrape mud out of the
pattern at the bottom of his shoe, and he
can’t help but notice the dirt getting
forced beneath her fingernails.
He asked her many times why she wanted
to go there, but she always just pointed to
the clip in her hair that was decorated lightly
with a metal leaf. The trees above them were
full of thin webbing spun by freshly born wood
spiders trying to carry themselves away from
the valley. He watched some of them as they
flew, wondering how they looked to them, up
there, with all those extra eyes.
The girl rubbed the right side of her neck
leaving a scar of earth from the back of
her jaw to the beginning of her shoulder. The
boy took a rag from his pocket and moved
closer to wipe the mess away, but she
stopped him by grabbing his wrist.
She touched his face spreading the residue
to him as well. She whispered to him that
he didn’t have to try to clean her up, and
made him plunge his knife into the ground.