I only knew it was there because of the dense, overwhelming silence that blanketed the earth.
Dreamwood seemed in the midst of a manic meltdown when I left. Bright blue flashing lights, screaming sirens, madness. I clenched the handle of Oleander's travel cage, knowing that if he got out in this kind of chaos, he would fly away from me and never come back.
I skirted the violence. My father always told me never to get involved with police conflicts; we always need to have them on our side, easy to manipulate...
I forgot I'm not listening to everything my father said.
I sought refuge in the cemetery. Armed with a pen, the day's newspaper and the phone book someone left at my door a few weeks ago, I propped myself up against a tombstone and set to work. Paper opened to the obituaries, I kept track of my place with my index finger, finding the names of the recently deceased, tracking them down in the phonebook and crossing them out. It's become a sort of hobby of mine.
There's something pleasing about watching the thin line of black ink spread across their names. Ethel Bloomberg. Gone. Nicholas Gatti. Erased. Marianna Noon. Vanished. Now I don't have to worry about trying to call them.
The silence swept across the landscape before I had time to process it. Sirens faded away, rustling of leaves dulled, even Oleander stopped singing.
It was impossible to focus on it. Every time I tried to look at it, I couldn't. I closed my eyes so I could see some more.
Each time one of its hooves came in contact with the ground, it looks more solid and a dim light sprouts for a moment. I get the feeling that if it jumps, loses contact with the earth, it would tumble from reality.
It spoke to me, but it's voice came from somewhere far away, a forceful wind carrying to my ears. The wind pulled on my hair, my skirt, blew off the petals off the hydrangeas. Spiders crept out of the flower centers, spinning silken strands from chrysanthemum head to chrysanthemum.
It told me to follow. I slipped off my shoes and stepped into the residual light beams of its footsteps before they faded away, my shadow kaleidoscoping out around me.