Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | February 11, 2008

The Globe

Haverhill, NH. October 26, 2007.

Haverhill Statue

Artha shivers. Is this the place? There is the pond, lined with stone just as they told her, and the cherry branches reaching out, just so. But the portal is overgrown; a thick carpet of dead leaves covers the tile, and vines twine through the open ceiling.

She carries the globe tucked beneath her shirt, rounding her belly like she carries a child. If only it were a child, and not this cold, white thing, this thing that has already claimed hundreds of lives. She dares not show its face to the world. Even in the shroud of morning fog, something would see. Some pair of eyes, whether ant or bird or human, would gaze at the globe and then frost over, still and sightless.

Artha pushes aside the heavy vines. Yellowed grape leaves fall to the floor, and the wooden frame of the building creaks. She wants to scream, to cry out to those who built this place to come take the white thing from her, but her voice catches in her throat. It has been too long since she last tasted water or food, since she last spoke to another person.

She clears the leaves from the center of the floor, exposing a circle made from slivers of white tile. In the center, sits a shallow metal bowl. Its edges are caked with rust and dirt, but Artha can see her reflection in the very bottom. White. Her hair, hands, eyes, and even her lips. She whimpers with fear, and lets the globe drop.

Thrum! The whole world shakes. Leaves twist up from their decayed piles on the floor and spiral up, up and out, slapping Artha’s arms and face. Voices come and go in the vortex of wind. Artha hears her name, hears her memories, and hears the globe. She sees nothing but white.

Later they will speak of her with awe and regret. They will build her a statue and clean the muck from the pond and rip away the vines. They will tell their children how Artha carried the plague from the world and destroyed it here, in this place where the cherry branches reach out just so.

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Responses

  1. […] visible thought Artha shivers. Is this the place? There is the pond, lined with stone just as they told her, and […]

  2. In response to your comment:

    You’re very welcome… It’s a very beautiful stream 😛 It’s wonderful when something amazing comes without your planning it to. If you don’t mind, I’d like to try that sometime… taking inspiration for writing from a photo.

    PS: That’s a stunning photo as well. I love how the branches create a border at the top. 😀


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