Tenderheaded






It is night and you have found yourself in the woods. A single light source shines from above, illuminating a cracked path on the ground. You start walking because although the trail is not straight, it leads somewhere. Stop. Look around. Is the wind blowing? Tall blades of black grass bend to the crooked shape of this unfamiliar earth. The blades’ edges glow white, they seem sharp. You see rainbow prisms in the distance.

Hauntingly sweet smells of coconut coat your nostrils. Your skin feels greasy, its pores open up to the moisture. There is no debris in your way. Perhaps tsunami waves have rolled in and rinsed it all back to sea though you can’t hear waves. Shorter paths splinter off into the unfathomable black. No one else is with you.

The soles of your feet feel warm. The ground is all shades of plump from pale pink to soft peach. It molds easily to your toes but occasional damage (possibly from high temperatures) reveals a dark, crusty ground. Keep walking, but careful, this strange earth is not flat.

She jerks and your weight shifts forward, moving downhill. Look right. Look left. The stiff, black blades are still curved both ways, pulled taut by a firm grip. The earth jerks again and throws you back but you don’t fall. Keep straight. A strict force controls her.

This night is an inky black; pressed down time and again by bruised sunsets. You wonder if the days here have ever just been grey. Where exactly is here? This is no landscape.




©Qiana Mestrich 2020-