In the garden the light was already beginning to fade.
She was conscious of the darkness softly filling in the spaces around her, blurring the shapes of the shrubs and bushes, swallowing the hedge, and swarming silently about the trees. Gently it removed the hard edges of the walls, erased the straight line of the path, and blotted out the wheelbarrow, watering can and spade.
The darkness had become thick and slightly damp, and was impregnated with the smells of the dying bonfire, the turned soil, and the decaying leaves. The evening was swallowing sounds, blurring them as if they too were images and shapes. The distant echo of footsteps became the steady drip of water, or the ticking of a clock. The impertinent rustle of birds in the overgrown bank became the frightened whispers of lost children; and the passage of the gathering breeze in the branches above hushed them quiet.
A melancholy owl hooted sadly, and from somewhere distant a lone motorcycle coughed twice, and then groaned faintly into the night.
She let the darkness gather around her until it brushed, like a friendly kitten, about her calves and ankles. She allowed it to climb up her thighs, over her back and chest, and onto her shoulders. She was so totally enveloped that she only knew her feet and hands were still there by the chill air presumptuously nipping at her fingers and toes.
Somewhere a dog barked. Its man called, his voice sounding muffled and woolly as it followed the animal along the road behind the house. The distant dog barked again, further away and the man’s voice seemed to mimic it, a furry, wild sound.
She shivered, and the cold breathed down her neck. She felt her face becoming coarse to its touch, and her nose was beginning to run. She sniffed and wrapped her arms about her body. But she did not move from where she was standing. Something had happened to her while the day was dying. It was as if the dark had filled her eyes, nostrils and mouth, making it twilight in her head, so that the solid immoveable outlines of her life became as blurred as the trees, bushes and hedge. Her worries had slipped away, under cover of the dusk.
Her fears had become indistinct. The chores and tasks that faced her no longer seemed to have any definition. She had escaped herself, and was hiding like a child in an unlit, but friendly, room; the darkness a safe blanket, under which she could remain undisturbed and unharmed.
She swayed a little as the wind began to tug at her clothes, nudging her with careless familiarity. She felt relaxed and at peace, with no desire to move. She was becoming part of the garden, her roots probing the rich worm-tunnelled soil, sucking in strength and goodness. Her skin was hardening into bark, her hair was twisting itself into leaves and twigs, and her eyes had become dark hollows in which the birds could make their nests.
She was in a dream, and she imagined time moving extremely slowly, and the darkness, now a living thing, slipped its cool hand into hers.
She knew that when the morning came she would be transfixed and hard, with only her sap inside humming with the secrets of the plants, and the earth.
© the author writing as Romantic Dominant
Photo stolen from ElifKarakoc