Rat Garden
Rat Garden stories

anoldstory1344Figuring out how to bury a squirrel
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Rat Garden. Not fair, but fitting.

Rat Garden

I went there for peace and quiet. No people. Well they weren’t people anymore I guess. As much as they may still resemble one.

The walls separated them from everyone else and when you went in you became one of them too really, felt that way in the very least.

Everyone who went in there was always as quiet, if not quieter than I. But, never quite as quiet as them.

The walls around them had made them quiet and even if they were to be loud, how were we to know? We didn’t really want to either, well I didn’t at least.

I was, again, there for the peace and quiet. Nothing more, nothing could have beckoned me more strongly than the promise of such tantalisingly rare nothing.

There weren’t any People there other than me at this time, none which I could perceive at least. An unsettling thought no doubt in both aspects.

So now I was the quietest.

The only people remotely close to piercing the heavy fog offering a veil of solitude at the time were those who lived outside on the other side of the road,

although even they were quiet by this time. They just stared really. Possessing eyes which, of their own volition, darted amongst my figure. Only to stagnate, ever unsettling, upon me.

And though the cars were loud, it wasn’t their fault. I appreciated the accompaniment to the outwardly silent orchestra in my head.

I even tuned it out, just enough so I could hear the rumble of the road. Just so I didn’t feel completely alone. Enjoying tremendously the unconsenting un-anthropomorphic company.

The voice singing to me inside my skull reverberated to the sound of the road and wind continued and the eyes amongst the glittered curtains did their appreciated part in making

me feel vulnerably accompanied amongst the headstones. The names on them helped a little. It instilled the illusion of a society.

We were hosting a Christmas party that had been so popular that it had attracted people from all around. The guest list consisting of strangers forming an unknown tongue’s merry greetings.

William, Doris, Matthew. They were all here and just for me too, to keep me company as I sat and attempted to weep. The tears never came quicker than when I forced them out, well it felt forced.

I couldn’t make my mind up on whether I wanted to or not. I have a hard time figuring out what I'm feeling. But, I’ll admit.

The feeling of company never feels comforting for long and so something else seeps in.

Filling in the cracks of worry and doubt in my new stony facade, burdening me with some new found weight to sully my ailing figure.

There was a car lane that traversed the far back. Every car terrified me, every headlight resembling a sprinting phantom coming for me, finally.

Even when I had beseeched myself a thousand times or more that it was just a car, the luminescence still made me shudder.

Watching them frolic in and amongst my periphery, feeling them grasp my coat and pull me off the wall atop which I had so delicately perched myself upon.

Some squawk inevitably shattering the veil once and for all.

Their bony hands making the ride throughout the intermingled dirt and stone path that bit more uncomfortable, as they dragged me off to some unknown,

godforsaken place from which I had emerged all those years ago. Some hellhole I presume, buried beneath a sewer. A fitting burial site for a Rat.

The Glutton of the Garden. That's who I was and what I felt akin to in this newly shed light. Perhaps prevailing from the cars, I did not dare to look I presume.

A fat rat ill fitted to skulking about the filthy shadows. Picking at the most meagre of meals and making ends meet, but at the same time being seen as a glutton.

Gorging myself on the few pleasures I could endure without feeling sick. Though sick I was and often. Not of any illness known to me, but of being sick of sickness.

The sibilant, cacophonic sound of that word when intermingled with itself only alluded to how often it plagued my mouth.

Seeping out of it every now and then to pursue my rightful sympathy from others less fortunate than I. Although, I was indeed sick of it all, I had never tired of it's sweet sting, oh Romeo.

There I go again with the sibilant antics of my dry tongue. One that has slithered it's way into many a poor heart.

Only to indulge endlessly from them to satisfy my sanguine thirst for sympathy over acts that were either unimportant, ironic or simply confounded beyond my limited belief.

Belief again was another word that toiled my tongue. I had never ceased to believe in my accusative non-belief, though it was all a lie. I did believe.

Why else would I be amongst headstones, begging the stone and flesh alike as if it were alive. I believed it was, as much as I loathed to admit such silliness.

There was always that desire though, that desire to believe in something beyond the stone and flesh, something that still beat under the earth, just too silently to be heard.

Maybe that's why I craved the silence. So I could place mine ear upon the soil and listen for the slow thrum of a heart. But too late I realised that thrum was not slow.

It was a quickening beat, one of a hummingbird perhaps? The beating of some unseen drum of impending dissatisfaction.

One that was so quick that perhaps that absence of any such faction had passed long ago and we had simply not noticed it's hastily passing or had time to disassociate it in regards to

the bliss we otherwise toil between. All I had indeed heard amongst the leviathan moss and tidings of swaying stalks was the still quickening beating of heart, a quaint little one.

One of something small is all I can be so sure of.

The beating moved amongst the brush at a steady, then quickening pace. I traced it's path with my ear and followed it to where it may eventually lead.

It passed under stone to stone, dirt to dirt and tree to tree amongst the yard. Making the chase all the more dangerously disrespectful, the gazes hastened with me and they felt heavier.

The weight now upon my frame made movement hard to bare. To make matters worse, the beating had surfaced beyond me, beneath a yew tree.

A tree with one such cold glare that, though of course it had blocked any light from the waning sun reaching me, had some other frigidity to it's shelter.

I crawled on my hands and knees, grazing them ever slowly upon the deceptive stones that had cleverly cloaked themselves in soft, unassuming lichen. I persisted.

Once upon the shade in totality, I found it to be inclined to warmth now more than it's outer coldness. Surprised but, nonetheless appreciative. The beating had reached its crescendo now.

The viscous blood that must have been thickly wrapping itself around the many capillaries beneath me, providing the strange warmth.

Perhaps mine own blood escaping my grazed knees may intermingle with it and I and Gaia shall form a bond well before my flesh fed it. Though of course, the stones prevented such.

They aided in my tracking of the pulse however, and led me to a pin’s point to where, if I were to strike, I’m sure I would drown in this quaint hearts unnatural capacity. Red gold.

When I struck such a vein of the viscous ore I was wretchedly dissatisfied. For all that escaped the hole from which was to emerge was a small squeak, simultaneous with my own.

A trickle shot from below and the geyser I had anticipated had left me unstimulated. The pain began again though and the crawl became a shuffle.

The heart escaped me and I felt fainter, fainter even than when I had beseeched Ophelia for her poppy to escape from which I had since seemed to have forgotten.

Though in the very least, the pain I was surely destined to experience has simply vanished. As if it too had equipped it's own cloak of lichen.

When I awoke, a figure stood, again toying with my peripheral. Teasing the idea of full view.

I cried out all I had known amongst the stones and none more than sweet Ophelia, for she was the only stone marked by a thing not in secrecy. Decorated with her assortment of many a flora.

It did not answer me, nor did it discredit me. I felt ashamed I did not know it's name, even after it's many visits to my hands.

It dressed in stone and wore many a different palette of assorted browns and greens. Stark though it's scheme was it did not at all seem out of place, it belonged here. It did not move, I did.

Towards it's comfort.

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