Fields And Lights

We meet at the Holding Man, twisted limbs support a ceiling of green over our heads to keep the sun away. Top of the hill, we see the fields stretch and end in boundary hedges that let people know which parts they can plow and which parts are left up to their neighbor.

Beers and cigarettes and I don’t smoke but she does so I pretend and hold the smoke in my mouth and it makes my tongue feel like it’s covered in shag carpet. An itch in my throat as I stifle a small Judas-cough that will betray me for an amateur. I hold the cigarette like Keyzer Soze because it’s different and I am a criminal. There is a cooler standing in for a picnic basket and someone makes sandwiches here with cold cuts and butter lettuce but the bread is dry like my mouth and there’s no mustard or mayonnaise.

She smiles as I lean back against the tree trunk and the tree is warm, which is unexpected, but comfortable, and the sun is making everything warm anyway, even under the black umbrella canopy. The sky darkens but the air doesn’t get any cooler as we eat cheese and drink cases of pale beer. The leaves laugh as the wind blows and the bough bends and raises and bends again to kiss us when the voices start.

Whispers in the back of your head and I laugh and elbow her jokingly but she has a scared look in her eyes and her mouth is closed and I turn to one of the guys and he’s asleep while the other looks up in the branches with something hunted in his gaze.

There’s a sound of swinging ropes and lightning smells and suddenly I want to go home but there’s no more fields as the woods stretch tall and dense all around. We wake up our friend and the four of us hold hands as we plow into the tangle of trunks and vines and I don’t think we’ll ever get home. We’ll never get home.

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