you and me – POSTCARD #30
This postcard is of the German city Heidelburg but has a Greek postage stamp. I imagined all kinds of scenarios and mysteries behind the combination. But it wasn’t until I peered through those leaves that I found the story.
Her feet were dirty.
This distressed her more than anything for some reason. Her feet, which she always took care of, were hard and cracked. Her pale skin, darkened with grime. She noticed a toenail was missing and released a sob.
She stepped through the forest undergrowth trying to remember why she was naked in the woods. She leaned against the rough bark of a tree without feeling it. She knew this was odd because she knew she had sensitive skin. Just like she knew about her feet. She opened her mouth to see what her voice sounded like but a guttural cry emerged instead.
She knew she’d woken up terrified in the dark like in the middle of a nightmare. That there was incense. That she smelled honey and dirt. She looked down into the hole that she woke up beside and then at her split, dried hands and began to run.
She ran with bracken whipping at her face and bare thighs, hard stones and twigs piercing her feet. She ran until the sky became light above the forest canopy and the trees thinned out.
She walked until she could hear a river rushing and she knew this river’s name. She emerged from the forest and looked upon the town that had not changed much over three hundred years.
Sunlight played on the bridge where they’d carried her bound and drugged, the flames of torches and chanting whirling around her. She touched the back of her head and felt the dip where it had caved in as the priest struck her, kneeling beside the pit.
She retreated into the forest, joy flooding her withered body as she caught sight of the church she would visit first, as she returned to the earth and waited for night.