Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In The Pickle Aisle

The old woman shuffled down the dusty aisle, looking for ancient jars of pickle. Her back was bent, her hair was sparse, her clothes were cotton. She slightly held the shelves with her swollen arthritic hands for support as she dragged her feet one careful step at a time into the dark corner of the shop. Sweat gathered in layers between the saggy lumps of flesh on her body. Swish, her sleepy heart pumped weak blood to the rest of her body in slow motion. Swish, the stale blood groaned and made its way back to the heart. The old woman rubbed the yellowed lens of her glasses with the thick skin on her fingertips and strained to read the labels on the pickle jars through the fingerprints on the lens.

A young woman entered the shop, the sun ecstatic at seeing its warmth bounce off of her damp hair. It winced in searing pleasure as it tried to hold on to her with the last of its sunbeams. The wind chased her through the open door, half-blind with the intoxication of her skin. The young woman laughed, and the wind forgot itself for a moment. It crashed into the dusty bags of rice and wheat. Then it swirled through the pepper and the chillies and almost drowned in the rose water. The young woman laughed some more, and the wind sighed and floated into the forgotten pickle corner, as if in a dream.

The wind drifted into the old woman's throat and agonisingly made its way down to her belly, leaving a desperate inferno in its trail. Her ears burned with the sudden flavour, and her chest squeezed with the surprise of a hundred sharp needles madly being sunk into her heart all at once. Her long-dry white tongue erupted into a million juicy fountains that remembered the dust, the sun, his golden skin. His cinnamon sweat tantalisingly trickling down from his sticky caramel curls past the shimmer of his eyes and down the vein on his neck. A frightened gasp forced its way out of her mouth. An explosion of light shook the galaxy within her, and the faith of a wild innocent love of handholding and smiles left a ringing feeling throughout her hollow bones that would last long after she had left the shop. An unwilling tear broke free from her weak eyes. A saga of untamed passion, relived all in one moment. Swish swish swish, her heart had been new once.

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