The Field

Here is a story that takes place in a dream.

Her eyes were deep at war. Charcoal with a glint of bronze.

“Just a bit further… just a mile, or less.”

She walked clear through the field, over to where a thicket of shadowy green trees covered the cool ground. There was sparse undergrowth, and a jumble of moss-covered rocks bordered a small spring that pooled into a clean pond. This was the place where she had liked to rest and stretch herself across the ground, watching the birds and insects and small animals that rustled and scampered and chirped about. She had liked to face the sky and look up through the moving greenness overhead and count the insects flitting in the hazy soft sunbeams that stood like slanting, glowing bars between ground and treetops. Somehow, she had liked the movement of the little creatures in this place more than the movement of the rest of the world. Everything was intense with life and vibration, a patch of life’s wonders condensed into less than a few square feet.

The memories came like a wind’s stroke against her cheek. She recalled the smell of grass during dry spells. The gossiping trees and the old thin roots underfoot. Rich earth, thick with weeds and crumbly soil pressed under her weight with every step.

Now, she rested beneath a thick elm, and lifted her dark gaze to a red and black bird that had just come to the grove. It twittered on a thin branch, hopped back and forth, and cocked its head. She tried to whistle at it, but her whistle came out too airy, and the bird fluttered away.

It eventually came to her that something else was moving through the field.

She picked herself up from the base of the tree.

Calmly, she turned about and faced the little side path that cut off at right angles through the field. The moon was absent, and no wind stirred the sifted earth. The path dipped slightly where feet had trod and packed the soil beneath into a firm layer. She took a few steps, and the crumbled dirt spurted up in front of her boots.

She plodded along, dragging a scuffed trail behind her. A little bit ahead she saw the expanse and she breathed deeply.

“Just a bit further.”

Something moved in the grass.

“It’s you, isn’t it.”

There was no response, but she didn’t mind, and she continued to walk into the emptiness with the weight of her thoughts swaying like an ocean lullaby.