All posts by firelord124

Tragedy At a Wedding

Tragedy At a Wedding*

The sun shone, warm and butter-soft, on the pale face of Elinor Dorbach as she gracefully turned around to face her husband-to-be. The day was perfect; The sky the palest blue, with puffy clouds hanging at intervals across it, bits of cotton-wool made of the finest material. The ground was soft, inviting; the lake in the background glimmering with hidden diamonds. There was a celebratory, thankful presence in the air, and guests were apt to admire this view. It was as if the Lord had taken it upon himself, in the midst of all his duties, to make this day special.

A laugh, mellow and rich, sang through the morning air. The groom had arrived, his tie slightly askew, his face naive and childlike. He was smiling, with his eyes full of limitless love. With a stumble, he ambled toward Elinor, the smile becoming more hopeful and profound. This was an example of the attractiveness of the bride: men felt themselves, sometimes against their will and common sense, attracted towards her; her smile held the promise of prosperity and happiness, and her melodious voice, liquid gold, enticed so many more.

This was not the first, thought Elinor, as the groom approached. For the first time, a shiver rang through her body, and her smile momentarily became wooden and fixed, her eyes distant and unseeing. Instead of the present groom, she was seeing another, with the same childish demeanour, and unfaltering loyalty; dear Gordon! A year ago, she had met Gordon Corey, quite by accident, at a conference. He had set his eyes upon her, and had not been able to remove them. While this action is familiar amongst other men, what had really set Gordon apart was his moderate wealth, worthy connections, and loyalty to his wife; though her love for him had never truly existed, with her facade soon crumbling into nothingness, his had never dwindled or faded. Even when he must have been aware what his love meant to her, he was still undying in his, unwilling to accept the truth of their relationship.

That made it easier for her to remove the control of his money, and entice him to reconsider the will he proposed leaving behind. “Really”, she could remember herself saying without qualm, “do you think it  appropriate to leave the estate to those distant family relations, who had never attempted to connect with you, to appreciate you? Compare this to the wife who had held you high in her esteem, who had appreciated you for what you are worth, who can see you for who you truly are”. She had smiled then, a predatory smile, and her eyes gleamed dangerously. Gordon, however, had not noticed any of this.

Poor old, silly, bumbling, Gordon Corey. Really, it was a service that he had passed away a week before the marriage; he had not taken the news of the divorce well; the new marriage would have been unbearable, depressing. The true love he had for her, which was not returned in any shape, would have been brutally destroyed. Elinor had received a message from his sister, a week before, detailing the date and location of the funeral. It was a  pathetic and rambling letter, the sister heaving with sobs, her handwriting irregular and disjointed. But, Gordon had nothing more of value to give, so…

Why bother?

The indulging smile returned to her face, her eyes refocusing on the man in front of her.

The traditional, brazen notes of “Canon in D major” rang out from the organ; the guests, as one, turned toward the couple. It was then that the usher approached Elinor.

“Mrs Dorbach, if you please, I have been sent a bouquet, from your late husband, for this occasion. I would like you to have it now.”

With some surprise, Elinor accepted the large bouquet; it comprised of a profusion of colours, that seemed to gleam with a polished beauty. She saw large, blooming tulips, amongst the anemone and amaryllis and, above all, the roses. By far, they were the most attractive; she found herself attracted, wordlessly, toward the largest of them, red and comforting, in the centre of the bouquet. It eclipsed the others, and was of a deep blood-red.

The paper holding the bouquet together crackled slightly, and Elinor shifted it towards her other hand. She had only then realised how heavy it was, along with Gordon’s appreciation of her; his love for her had not stopped, not even for death. It was not brittle, but warm and malleable. She suddenly found herself thinking of his blind affection, which she had eventually returned with coldness and distaste. But that didn’t matter, she told herself quickly. He’s already dead, and I am beginning a new relationship, with a new husband. It is not worthwhile to think of it.

The paper crackled again, and the weight of the bouquet suddenly seemed heavier and more daunting. The sounds of laughter and merry conversation began to seem unrealistic. It began to, slowly, fade into the background, repressed by a sudden draught of coldness from the past:

“Compare this to the wife who had held you high in her esteem, who had appreciated you for what you are worth, who can see you for who you truly are.”

Said not earnestly, nor truthfully, but for another, terrible, motive. Her eyes became unseeing, and she noticed, for the first time, a thin, pale sheet of paper lodged within the bouquet, missed by the usher’s eyes. It was in a familiar, sloped handwriting, black against white, almost profoundly so.

“They shall seek you tomorrow, and you shall not be”.

Elinor stared, uncomprehending, at the message, which she unconsciously had crumpled in her hand. How unlike Gordon! To think that he will be selfish enough to ruin her joy on this momentous day! Feeling a slight twinge of anger, she tore her eyes away from the remains of the note, and toward the bouquet once more. She suddenly hated it, and what it represented.

The usher approached her cautiously, sensing a change in atmosphere; the guests noticed this too, and stopped their conversations. The champagne stopped flowing, and curious faces were turned toward the bride. Elinor felt, briefly, a sense of dread. She felt a sudden desire to be somewhere, anywhere, else. Anywhere but here.

The bouquet suddenly tilted in her hands; the paper crackled more violently. It seemed the bride wanted to discard it; but, only the bride knew the truth.

There was something in the centre of the bouquet, hidden amongst the multitude of flowers. It was slowly, inevitably, working its way up.

The bouquet shook again and again; Elinor felt her hands begin to shake; blood drained from her face, and she uttered a low groan. But she could not bring herself to drop the bouquet.

The largest rose shook most of all. It was bending under the weight of the thing inside; she thought she could hear the tapping, quick and methodical, of many legs.

They shall seek you tomorrow…

Slowly, the thing came into view; she stared into herself, reflected in the bulbous eyes. Slowly, the spider, brownish and unearthly, emerged from the stem of the rose. Slowly, it clambered up the arm of the bride. It was unbearably large, the size of a plate. She felt the guests shout and exclaim, but it seemed distorted and distant. They cannot help me, she thought.

…and you shall not be.

The last thing she remembered was a stinging pain as the stinger pierced her arm.

Addendum:

*I have placed this here, because this would possibly serve to make some details of the plot explicit; this work is based on the brilliant tale of “The Ash Tree”, by M.R. James; some plot details are similar, and would undoubtedly strike a reminiscent chord amongst some readers. If you have found this story worthwhile, I recommend you to consider reading his works.  

Advertisements

On Evil

mansion_ruvikappears_1401724974

Photo source

The night glowed darkly, in pulsing patterns, as I approached the road which led to the abattoir. The street was deserted, empty of people, and the lack of life and buildings made the area disturbingly quiet and desolate. On either side of me, barely-visible fences barred the way to darkness beyond, of which no light penetrated. The road itself was worn and antiquated; due to the lack of economic prospect in the area, the government had neglected to revamp the surfaces. This was a place left behind by society, forgotten, falling into disrepair. It was a spectre of the past, a place that was physically fading away. In the near-darkness, I felt my heart beat irregularly, and I felt the smothering of the air. All of the objects were coloured in shades of black, and they were virtually indistinguishable from one another. A feeling of anticipation and expectation hung about in the air, and made me yearn for the sound of a cricket.

I quickened my steps, as I thought about what I had to do. It was in consequence of the events which took place today at school. I had left home, as usual, with money for my lunch. And, as usual, I had expected that Bob would approach me, at the school gates, and demand me for my pocket money. Of course, this was a matter of routine on every school day, but , this time, I had felt indignant; fury ate away at my senses, at my thoughts, until I was this madman, enflamed with mad and dangerous thoughts. Unlike the previous times, I stood firm, and stonily denied his persistent threats, until he pulled my backpack backward, and lifted me off the ground. This had not happened before, and I was helpless as he took not only the money, carefully placed in my wallet, but also the wallet as well. That wallet had previously belonged to my father, before he died in a car accident; I had no other memories of him other than his favourite wallet, which was the only part left of him that the police could return. But that alone was not enough for Bob. He had, I believed, some inferior wish to reinstate his power over his schoolmates, to reassure himself of his power. That night, I had to be at the abandoned abattoir, and wait for him to arrive. When he does so, Bob will take a photograph, and would post it for all to see. The wretched Mark Edgeworth, standing, scared, before Bob, the bully of the school.

Of course, I had no other choice. And so, as I rounded the corner of the street, my heart beating with anticipation, I suddenly realised, with a start, that my hands were slippery and sweating as I reached for the corroded handle of the door. However, there was no need: the door was unlocked, and opened, rather too easily, into the stench of death and decay. I was in a mass graveyard, a death-zone which was stained with faded blood and faded will. The only light came from a small window, which opened up, near the top of a imposing wall on the other end of the room. In the centre, the floor fell away into a deep pit, from which no bottom could be seen; this must have been the place where leftovers and scraps were left behind, I thought chokingly. And, in between, stood rotted metal implants and sharp construction material, which was cluttered throughout the room. Steel walkways stood forebodingly above, held with thick, heavy rods which originated from the ceiling. A faded white object lay at the corner of my vision; around it were a soft, indistinguishable material . I did not go anywhere near it. Instead, I shivered, and waited, beside the door for Bob’s arrival, although I was certain that this place was not deserted. Something intangible was lurking and hiding in the darkness, festering on this decay, growing slowly. My legs prickled, sensing its presence. At least my torch beam kept it away.

It was almost a relief to see the door open once more, and to see the silhouette of a person entering the room. It looked around, with a degree of calmness which unwillingly impressed me, and made over to my location, wielding a digital camera.

“All right then, Mark?” Bob cooed, “didn’t get scared?”

And, waving my wallet with his other hand, he coolly threw it into the pit. I watched, stunned, as the wallet made a half turn in the air, and, slowly, as if time was still, fell into the pit. I did not hear it hitting the bottom.

Sneering at my look of shock, Bob fumbled with the camera. It was then that I finally had enough; I clearly heard a click, inside my head, as I looked upon the scene with a new perspective. The monster within me, hitherto silent and invisible, slowly opens its eyes. Slowly, the shaking in my legs stopped, and I began to smile.

“Here”, I said calmly, “I’ll help you with the camera.”

As Bob looked up, surprised, I reached for a can on a table beside me, and threw its contents at him. He looked on, shocked, as a brownish liquid splashed onto his face, his clothes, and his camera. Having felt invigorated and encouraged by the look of anger of his face, I reached inside my pocket. Right then, I immediately lost contact with a part of the world; I could only feel my anger, the strength of my hate and the pounding of my heart within me as I got out a lighter. It’s strange that I didn’t feel any more fear; as I lit the flame, I laughed, and as the realisation dawned on Bob too late, I feel the monster within me snarl.

The surrounding machinery and equipment suddenly glowed a bright orange, reflecting the burning hate inside of me.However,  I felt calm, almost peaceful at that moment, as I stood by and watched him burn.

How to Write in Ten Painful Lessons

The page stares up, blank

as I push down the pen down.

Into the paper.

Making a point.

No, I’ve no Idea! Mind clouding.

The perfect introduction alludes me

as I stare

down

the

page,

And with Sisyphus’ grievance

Jerkily scrapes a line across the page

making a single, lonely sentence.

I tear it up: it is not right

unfitting for such a world.

The boulder crashes down.

The page stares empty.

The pen is growing sedentary

The hill looms: dauntingly

The clock strikes the second

painfully                       loudly

I know I’m using up time…

But isn’t the boulder meant for eternity??

I didn’t know anymore…

Time is twirling away

The distinct gleam of light is gone.

Appearance and Reality: A New Telling of an Old Urban Legend.

Snow, thick and clumpy, layered the yard as Katie slowly settled into the warm depths of the sofa. Having been lounging on the sofa for most the morning, it was now invitingly warm and comforting, the only area in which she felt herself to be at one with. The television opposite her blared its broadcasts, blinding her with bright light, as an advertisement for vacuum cleaners slid across the screen. Signing, Katie rubbed her eyes vigorously, and proceeded to reach for the popcorn bag next to her, in which she had eaten already half of the contents. Her parents were not home, having been called away on a business trip, in which they had to attend a conference of some distance away. Her younger brother, Owen, was asleep upstairs.

For the first time, Katie felt a slight probing into her comfort. The wind chimes at the front of the house jangled discordantly, adding some sense of fascination and wonder: the sweet, chiming jingles diffused slowly to her location, bringing with it a sense of the outside world. The house seemed then to be infinitesimally quiet: silence crept about in the corridors, curled around door-frames, and whispered their presence to all. Strangely, the noises from the television seemed to have  died down, fading into the shifting background, with a connotation of muffled voices, discordant voices, which did not dissipate when Katie concentrated more on watching the program. Slowly, her resourcefulness and her comfort was being eaten away; she nervously returned her outstretched arm back into the blanket.

The wind chimes jangled again. This time, they seemed to herald something else, something unrecognisably distant, something that crept about the house, avoiding human sight and the light…

Something stirred, far back from Katie’s vision. Something indefinable had started to proliferate, to expand.

A being slowly moved out of the shadows, and slowly ambled towards the glass back door, towards Katie’s position.

It knows, she thought. It knows what it wants to do…

The thing slowly came nearer: its sprite became larger, but its features did not get any more vivid and clear. Does it even have any features? Katie thought, as wave after wave of panic crippled her; made her helpless…

As the thing approached her position, it slowly slid one of its arms into its jacket pocket.

No, Katie thought.

A thin, wicked, steely gleam pierced the snowy scene. The thing was coming closer, closer. Any moment now, she’ll see it…

The thing filled the entire window: it reached its fingers forward…

Screaming, Katie finally forced her arms over her head, and pulled the blanket over herself, in one quick move; she could still imagine it coming closer, unimaginable horror in the depths of deep snow.

There was no one in the house: Owen was still asleep.

Shaking uncontrollably, Katie huddled on the sofa, eyes forcefully shut, small, pitiful whimpers coming out of her lips. She imagined the blanket being torn off, imagined the thing towing over her, wielding an unearthly weapon.

However, feeling the interior of her jacket, she found her mobile. Panicking, gasping, her face flushed with tears, she started to dial.

The police van reached her five minutes later. Then, Katie was visibly under enormous panic and stress. Huddled on the sofa, still unable to move, she cried out the events of the previous half-hour. Sergeant Kimble, who had been called away from his coffee break, felt a slight sense of annoyance at her. Having categorised Katie as a imaginative person, he was inclined to explain to her the role of the police: How could she have led the Police on a wild, rambling tale that was evidently illogical and false?

But the expression of genuine joy she gave when she saw him made him reconsider. He proceeded to calm her down.

“Look, love, there were no footprints outside in the back yard, where you claim to have seen the figure: and since no snow fell during the past half hour, we can safely assume that any footprints would still be present. Therefore, I can only say that the figure was part of your stressed mind, playing foolery on you.”

Having seen the sign of relief from the girl, he decided that he had done quite enough. Straightening his jacket, he called the girl’s parents, and advised that they return home: until then, Katie and Owen would stay with their friends.

He did not think that he should elaborate further: not even about the wet footprints that ran from the front door, which was invitingly open, and which curled slowly around the door to the living room, until it reached the back of the sofa.

An Essay into Evil and Love, David Liu

The intensity of love has long been an establishment in poetry: poets may use language and rhythm to twist meaning and to evoke a more personal outcry to the reader. However, on comparison, it becomes prevalent that not all love poems  necessarily convey the same message to readers: love is a subject that is pure, abstract and differing; it is so wide in its ramifications that the poems can fall under extraordinarily different categories. Therefore, although “Havisham” and “The laboratory” both seem at a glance, to be about the ruthlessness of love, and about the corruption of goodwill towards evil,  the protagonists are determined to accomplish their feats of evil in different natures: the unnamed narrator in “Havisham” is deranged, and is severely influenced by her lover’s abandonment, blames him dor leaving her, and consequently seeks the psychological benefits of the wish to kill. However, the woman in “The Laboratory” is more poised, more self-willed to achieve her aims: unlike the other woman, she is still young, determined, jealous of the woman who took her husband away, so that she strives to kill the other woman, and not her husband. Ultimately, it is  the capability of the two women to enforce death from their love of their husbands  that provides the startling difference.

At first, “Havisham” seems to be a mass of contradictions: the narrator aptly switches between different words, which are opposite to each other, so we could observe her undying love towards her lover, even through the hate that has left her bound to her bed over his betrayal: this is expressed, even from the first three words: “Beloved husband bastard”. Quickly, Ann Duffy is bringing us to two completely different points: this continues, as she prays for his death, “so hard I’ve green pebbles for eyes”. Clearly, the narrator is disintegrating, decaying into a being that lacks the will to live: she is still left behind at the moment of her marriage: she still wears the yellowing wedding dress, the good memory completely tainted, but still grasping onto it, still living in the past. But still, the love is shown yet again, as the reader is uncomfortably introduced to what may well be the narrator’s insanity: the narrator states that she sleeps comfortably on some nights, nights in which  she hallucinates, and sees

“the lost body over me,
my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
then down till I suddenly bite awake”,

As this excerpt demonstrates, the narrator is still clinging onto the memory of her husband, although she herself also has a powerful desire to kill him, for a “long slow honeymoon” with the corpse. Ann Duffy is implying that love and hatred can sometimes be intertwined; while the narrator wishes her husband’s death, thinking him responsible for her present state, she also, paradoxically, cannot live without him.

In “The Laboratory”, the same fundamental concepts are present: In this more light-hearted poem, Browning expresses the coldness of the narrator, whose husband had left for another woman, underscoring the link between the poems. However, it is also clear that the woman in this poem is less dependent on her husband: she is jealous of the other woman, and wishes her demise, but witnesses the husband as less responsible: he was enticed away from her because she was the more beautiful; the narrator imagines, in a moment of fancy, that the two of them are laughing at her, in a tone of bitterness that implies that she now has no love towards her husband. There are more suggestions in the poem: the narrator takes action, to kill the woman who drives her husband away, instead of contemplating about the husband’ s death: she also wants both the husband and the wife to experience the ramifications of the wife’s death, ensuring that the chemist produces a poison that does not “spare her the pain/to let death be felt and proof remain”, so that the husband, undoubtedly shaken by the death, will “remember her dying face!” That was the entire point of her madness, as suggested by Browning, to condemn the husband’s actions, but to mainly create unimaginable suffering and havoc on the wife, who would undoubtedly die a slow death. It is for that that she reaps her wealth on the chemist, her willingness for human suffering turning into a profound sense of pleasure, as she looks forward to the next time she and her husband meet.

While both texts convey the desire to commit evil, the attitude of the two women are different and profound, not only because the women strive to kill different people involved in the relationship: the woman in “Havisham” desperately grasps on the memory of her husband, from wearing the wedding dress, and derives pleasure from both the wish to kill her husband, and also from his body, from his exterior, since she cannot forgive his soul, and blames him for leaving her, not the other woman: hence, she has no wish to kill the other woman in the poem. Conversely, the woman in “The Laboratory” is much younger, and is under the grasp of vengeance for her husband leaving her: it is, however, unlikely that  she has any emotional feeling remaining: she understands that he left her simply because the other woman was more beautiful, and seeks to punish the other woman for enforcing the husband to leave, but still asks for his suffering.

The Black Cat Analysis: Is it Evil?

Madness and impending doom both seem to merge together into the narrator of “The Black Cat”, as he tries to grasp what is left of his sanity after committing the murder of his cat and of his wife. The short story itself is therefore a digression of unbiblical and inhuman rage, as Poe writes with such fervour and power that the very definition of evil is questioned, suggesting that the narrator, due to his insanity, cannot be categorised under its reaching boundaries, as in both circumstances the narrator is clearly not in possession of his senses; Poe seems to be implying that there should be a distinct dividing line between both evil and lunacy; someone whose mind runs differently to our own cannot fit under our definition of evil.

The first signals of the narrator’s wavering mind is seen briefly at the beginning of the story, as he introduces the reader personally. This serves for the reader to observe his diseased mind, and to form a connection with the narrator as they begin to get some indication of his madness. The opening paragraph seems to form part of the narrator’s confession: the narrator is unburdening his soul, releasing his troubles and revealing how they led to his breakdown. even if his “very senses reject their own evidence”, as he is drawn into the mists of imagination; he is plainly insane at this moment. Furthermore, the narrator stresses that  the occurences were “mere household events”; however they have still haunted him. Following this thread, the reader would discover that the narrator had plainly made a harrowing connotation out of the fire after he had killed his cat, and when the burn marks on the walls resembled that of a cat’s.

Another piece of the puzzle becomes evident when Poe implies that the narrator’s own madness had stemmed from his sudden alcoholism habit. The narrator is firstly seen as a happy and carefree man, “tender of heart”, and who was fond of animals, a feeling shared by his wife. However, this fleeting moment of happiness was soon overturned as soon as the narrator mentions the beginning of his alcoholism: through “the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance”, the narrator was seen to be morose, irritable and violent towards his wife and his pets when under the influence of drink. This led to a perverted sense of reality, of which led to his assault on Pluto, his beloved cat, when he cut out one of its eyes. From the reactions afterwards, it is clear that the narrator fully remonstrates this act, and names it an “damnable atrocity”, an random act of violence that was spurred not necessarily by the narrator’s own cold-bloodiness, but by his moment of relapse from alcohol.

The narrator’s descent into madness, not evil,  continues to a greater extent after assaulting Pluto: The narrator describes the overwhelming guilt he felt, and his sadness as he watches his life quickly disintegrates, soon inevitably showing a desirable feeling to kill the cat altogether, out of “perverseness”, likely spurred on by his unwillingness to bury his grief. The consequences of the action made his attitudes to the new cat more sensible: the narrator believes that his own guilt had returned, in the form of the other cat, and would haunt him for all eternity. It is then not evil, but the narrator’s own plaguing remorse, that made him visualise the mark of a hangman’s noose on the back of the other cat (of which he cannot bring himself to digress), and which made his intenseness hatred towards the cat. The last act to unhinge the narrator, then, was his wife’s murder, when she attempted to protect the cat from her husband’s lunacy. Then, the narrator truly loses his grasp, and, using his flawed reasoning, attempts to conceal the body, not realising that he had also walled up the cat until it was much too late.

Throughout both murders, it should not suffice to state that the narrator’s motives were really brought about by evil: the narrator was first under the influence of alcohol, then afterwards the victim of his scalding guilt. Furthermore, it should be remembered that the narrator was a kind and a happy person, along with a wife whose “disposition was not uncongenial with (his) own”, and that he felt almost at peace after he disposed of the other cat. The other cat was itself a representation of his guilt, hence of his heightened lunacy.

The Life of an Rhinoceros

Photo source: oatsy40 on Flickr (CC)

For the zookeepers at Hoson Central, it was a special day: not that the object of their celebration would be too much aware of it. For Rusty, the five hundred kilogram rhinoceros, it was already up to six years since his birth into the world: six years of being watched and admired by hordes of tourists and holidaymakers: small toddlers gazing, transfixed, through the somewhat stained windows, their mouths agape and their eyes alight in gentle delight and fascination. They were seeing the real thing, horn and all, which was rather different from the fluffy stuffed models of rhinoceroses that they had purchased or had seen in the gift shop: They were much larger, for one; or adults, looking somewhat awkward, standing tall over the children and using words of naivety and sweetness, which consisted of words such as “sweetums” and “dear”.

For those six years, Rusty had learned the way of the world: or, at least the enclosure: his world spanned the ten by fifteen rectangular paddock, which contained several patches of pale-green grass, on which he learned was excellent to lie on a scorching day. There were even offerings of food from those strange, upright-walking objects, who had sometimes wandered into the paddock to pat his skin, or to inspect him from every angle conceivable, of which he had gradually got accustomed to: it was rather terrifying at first: he did not know what they were going to do to him, as they quickly approached from a small opening in the glass panel: the food was satisfactory, yet somehow still meagre and insufficient: however, the beings seemed to have understood his wishes, for the food offered slowly grew in size: his mother had stated that this was because they knew that he was rapidly growing and developing: he needed now more nourishment than the last year.

There was even a small area of water, which reached up his legs, lapping and yet massaging the muscles. The water seemed to understand him, to encourage him, to relieve him of all the grime which had found a way to envelop his back. It was then that he discovered, after the first few moments in the water, that this was the singular moment which the beings behind the glass enjoyed the most: their mouths opened wide, and they motioned or beckoned their fellows to see. It was of slight annoyance to him, as he had wanted privacy, a moment to really become acquainted with himself.

The day dawned like any normal day: Rusty slowly opened his eyes to the array of colours which infused the new day: a bird was excitedly calling to its acquaintances from outside, and the sounds of traffic and the construction of a nearby building seemed to be more distant and soft: the ground underneath him was gentle and muddy, following the recent bout of rain that had washed and scourged the land. across from him, the distant calling of the bird could still be heard, and it was soon joined with the hoot of its fellows, the caw of its fellow species, and the very distant rumble of a plane. The clouds scraped thinly across the sky, all  with a tinge of pink, or the deepest shade of purple.

Voices issued from the opposite side of the glass: a man and a woman were struggling with the handle. They had between them a large object, covered with a sheet. At last, the door slid open, and the two strode across the enclosure towards him. Strangely, all Rusty’s fear of the humans were dispelled. As the man placed the bundle of leaves, small trees and organic food onto the ground, the woman spoke: she knew that Rusty would not understand, but she had felt that it was right to do so:

“Make a wish.”