When I bought the house I noticed a small rose bush. I thought nothing more of it. Then I moved in and everything was lovely. At least at first.
As time passed the garden grew, I tried to look after it, but it just kept growing. The roses were beautiful, white, perfumed. But it kept growing, entwined in the fence, creeping over the path.
But inside the house I felt safe. It was warm and comfortable, the colours were muted, pastels, old soft furnishings, blankets, a happy place.
Then one morning, I tried opening the double front door, the handle would not move, something was wrapped around it? I looked out of the window, sideways, I saw it. The rose had grown round the door handle, as I watched leaves sprouted and perfect white flowers appeared. The house was happy, the rose was happy. But me? Not so much.
I looked over at the sofa and saw, my bag was staring at me, its stone eyes glaring? I knew there were sharp talons underneath. Any moment it could fly up and attack me. And yet it was my favourite bag? What could I do, I couldn’t look away, I did not dare sleep. I would have to watch it until dawn. Until I would be safe.
The owl hooted in my mind, a mournful call, a gentle sound, my head nodded, sleep was coming. I shook myself to wake up. The owl glared. I was trapped.
He was staring across the restaurant. A hard stare. Eyes wide, looking directly at the woman three tables away. She had not seen him as she was sitting side on to him, but her partner caught the look. Who’s the jerk over there? He said to her. I don’t know, she said, glancing across. The man was still staring and she felt uncomfortable under his gaze.
The couple had their meal in silence. Neither knowing what to say to the other. And both of them kept checking what the wide eyed man was doing. He in turn was drinking a beer, then another one..
I’m going over said the woman’s partner. She grabbed his hand, please don’t, she said. We don’t know who he is but he’s big, he could hurt you! She glanced worriedly at the man.
Then she realised he had signalled the waitress for the bill. He might come over and say something, she said as the man paid for his food. Ignore him said her partner. But she couldn’t, who was he. Did he mean to say or do something?
The man stood up, picked up and put on some sunglasses. Come on Jess he said. His Guide Dog stood up from under the table where she had been sitting, her harness jingling. Home Jess, he said, and the dog led him out of the door.
Two owls, mock leather and fake jewels. They sit on the sofa and look back at me. Is there a glint if evil in their eyes. If I fall asleep, will there be a great flapping of wings? Will they peck my face?
They are mocking me, watching me, sitting ready to pounce once I have closed my eyes. I just know it. Nightmares fastening their claws into my arms. Beaks ready to stab at my ears, eyes and mouth.
I remember being paralysed by the fear of them. Black and gold feathers brushing my hands. Their talons raking my veins, tangling in my hair.
How can I escape their gaze. Looking back at me. My reflection in their eyes? I want safety. Instead I may be trapped inside them, in their black lined guts. Lost forever in their gaze.
We have bookcases, but the books from them are on the floor, on tables, on footstools, in flurries and drifts. So I asked him. Why won’t you put the books back? I will do, he snapped back. He is the one who puts them there, often opened and left unread.
When I change the bedsheets his side of the bed is six inches deep in books. I have to force my way through a tidal wave of them…
I plot now. I think about what to do. I want one of those camouflaged book cases, where you tilt a book back and a door opens. I would like that.
Open the door, fill it with books, or push him in and throw away the key. Oh don’t get me wrong, food would be delivered three times a day. There would be a laundry chute and a bathroom. A comfy chair and a bed. A secret trap door would be there to pass in things, or hook things out when he’s asleep. He would be happy, I would be able to tidy up….
Life goes on in lockdown. Ideas spring to mind. They are not serious.
I wish I could direct my dreams, if I could, I would travel to the seaside, or to a hilltop above a wood. I would look over at the setting sun. Red auburn hair of clouds wrapped round the bright orb. Wind blows streamers of air across the waves, or treetops, glistening light flickers over the boughs and branches. Gulls rise, then fall to roost. Night ascends, stars glint as shimmer. Sleep deepens. I doze.
The bright green sky shone out beyond the white branches of the treeplynths.
Flinners sang in the plynths, making booming noises and screeches. The star rose above the horizon, deep red in the sky.
Veleno watched the dawn, Earthship Orion would be leaving soon. The journey to Betelguse had been stressful, but they had found this beautiful and bizarre planet circling the red giant star. But now it was time to leave. The return journey to earth would take centuries, but the Red Giant was going to go super nova soon. If they didn’t get a fair distance away from it in the next fifty years they would not survive.
Veleno took a few more images of the dawn. The whole star rise thing took about three Earth hours. He looked at the rising star, moving so slowly, what would it be like to stand here and see it explode? No, he could not imagine its immense effects and size. Time to leave.