Memory Palace

 Come, I’ve something to show you. 

 Bold strides through patches of long grass fighting the breeze. Edges sharp enough to cut. The girl leads me down a trail trodden, down the long road of their garden. A yard far bigger than one could know from looking. A secret way for secrets hidden. 

 Trees arrive over our heads and my guide’s voice fades. Patchwork light of canopy leaves. Cool gloom over the weeds. Out that muted green a barn looms, the scent of paint and fresh timber and whitewashed stones, surrounded by those long blades and boughs that hiss at passing gusts. Daisies smothered in the scrub. She appears, pressing a finger to her lips, her hand around my tiny wrist. 

 We’ve got to be quiet, and we can’t go inside. Otherwise we can’t play here again.

 We circle around, cautious pacing, my heart a frightened bird. I’m afraid to breathe. The whole clearing the sensation of a tomb disturbed. Grave-robbers and ghouls are we in this strange sea. Her figure consumed then returns. 

 This is why we have to hide. Mother says he doesn’t like animals anymore. 

 In her palms the skull of something small. Its bed an assortment of broken similitudes. The white in the grass is not the white of flowers at all. A woman’s voice calls a name from behind the trees. My guide, her face, as pale as what she holds.

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