Her weight bore down upon the stick that she clasped firmly in her right hand. Strolling down the serene path, branches extended overhead and leaves intertwined, forming the distorted shape of an umbrella above. She was shielded from the beams of the sun’s glare; although, it still seemed to smile upon the verdant landscape. Yet here and there, hidden amidst blossoming bluebells lay weeping plants which wilted, alone, suffocated by the intense warmth which even the crisp breeze could not negate.
she’d run at the speed of light amongst rose bushes, her polka-dot dress blowing round her knees
She inhaled the fresh air, and although she wandered alone, it was here, in the open, where her mind was relieved of anxieties, where her drooping skin (which was inscribed with the lines of timeless age) no longer defined her. Instead, she was reminded of the days where she’d run at the speed of light amongst rose bushes, her polka-dot dress blowing round her knees while her friends shrieked at one another, chasing after her. Her ruddy face would light up as the sound of birdsong peppered the landscape. She remembered the light breeze stroking her unlined, soft skin while her silky hair swept back, weaving across the fabric of the air like threads of gold.
The peace and joy which she had found in the outdoors still seemed to resonate within her as she sought comfort within the realms of nature. As she walked on, her gaze was mesmerised by the beauty which was finely encapsulated by an array of colours; she was in awe, so much so, that her grip of the stick loosened, forgetting for a moment the toll that time had taken on her weary body. In spite of the trickling beads of sweat and humid air, she refused to wear anything other than a woolly jumper – her favourite – oversized and hanging loosely from her frail body which was now defined by the structure of weak and overworked bones. She resembled a sort of skeletal figure as her sagging skin revealed the bony structures of her face and the dark circles of exhaustion that were stamped beneath her eyes.
Her legs began to tremble as she hauled the weight of her body onwards, only to collapse onto a nearby bench. She skimmed the park until she caught glimpse of a little girl darting through a maze of bushes, cheerful laughter resounding in the atmosphere. But through her mind erupted traces of her own childhood. She recollected thoughts of fonder days where even a deep graze on her kneecap wouldn’t discourage her from shuttling down streets without a care. But now, every step was weighed with agony as pain splintered her brittle bones with even the slightest of movements. The hands which once built sandcastle after sandcastle now quivered and shivered with weakness and fragility. She remembered the days when her father would take her to the beach and she’d race along the shore with her siblings, as the restless waves splashed against her pale legs. It was in those moments where she wished she could live forever. But now those wishes carried a burden as she felt as though she was living in eternal pain as her unrelenting body forced her to live in torment- in a world where she no longer felt alive.
memories cascaded like the distorted colours of falling autumn leaves
Her memories cascaded like the distorted colours of falling autumn leaves, alternating from hues of green, red, yellow. The branches were left barren. The crisp breeze returned, this time blowing bitterly, as she realised it was time to go home, with nobody waiting upon her arrival, and nobody to accompany her on the solemn journey. With her weight bearing down upon the stick that she clasped firmly in her right hand, she clung more firmly still to the memories that she refused to abandon.