Alice walked across the lawn outside Sören’s ground floor flat. She was wearing a cornflower blue blouse and sandals. In the distance she could hear the mourning of excavators. Right now Sören was taking a shower and then he would take ages to get ready; he could spend twenty minutes with his nose hair trimmer. Not that she wanted him to hurry up. Alice went into a small wood. The maple leaves above her head made the fierce sunshine appear softer. She sat down on the ground; no grass stains would show on her dark trousers. The opulent vegetation seemed to throb with sap. She combed her long fringe with her fingers. Her hair looked like thirsty mud, but her skin was like radiant rosewood.
The fragrance from the coniferous trees was mild. She remembered the pungent smell of some skinny pines in a dry, faraway place where she, an old boyfriend and a few other people had lived a long time ago. The tap inside their cabin had only given them a few rusty drops in the morning. Sandy dust had clogged her pores and she tried to wash in the rivulet, but that water was dirty and viscous as blood. You are just an uptight, little chick, her lover had said over and over again. His thin eyelids looked like stained glass. When animals had approached their house he shot at them. Nobody in the cabin had been prepared to cut up the meat and instead the carcasses had been given to stray dogs or thrown into the woods. They had carried buckets with stream water, poured it over the crumbly soil and managed to produce onions and cabbage, but most of them preferred to live on cheap chocolate and hotdogs. After a year Alice had left the Southern European country and returned alone to the north. Her attempts to rub off the blackness under her feet with soap, steel wool and petrol had failed and eventually the dirt worn off by itself.
© Jenny Enochsson 2012
To be continued...
Note: I thought I would publish this English piece of flash fiction on my blog. The story has a summer feeling. It first appeared in Rufous Press' publication Lush.