I had a strange dream last week and it woke me up. I scribbled it on a piece of paper. Next day I turned it into a piece of flash fiction and because I haven’t had time to think of a blog this week, here it is!
Every morning I set off with the plastic container that is half as big as me, knowing that, when it is filled with water, my back must bear this burden on the walk home.
The sun beats down relentlessly on my black skin. My feet are bare on the hot, red earth. Sharp stones pierce my heels. I endure this every day because I must. We need the water. If only the well were nearer the village or the village nearer the well. However, I am young and strong, so each morning I set off with my plastic container. I am used to it.
What I will never grow used to is the presence of the one who walks behind me. He always appears. I never know when he will do this or why he is there, but he always is. I daren’t turn around to look at him. I am so afraid. I think if I look at him, he will run at me. I try to pretend I haven’t seen him. I try to pretend he isn’t even there. Why does he follow me every day? I am so scared of what he might do. But I carry on walking. We need the water.
Every morning the small human carries her burden along the dusty track. I sense she is afraid. In fact, something has terrified her. The smell of fear drifts from her like mist from the mountains. I don’t know what she is afraid of but, surely, someone means to hurt her.
So every morning I walk behind her to keep her safe from harm.