The Woman Walked (Snapshot Stories 11)

The road edges frayed into stones and sand.

The woman’s footfalls were as quick as they’d been at dawn, even if her feet were now caked in dirt and dust.

At her side, the large dog ambled easily. It was invisible to everyone except her.

Occasional locals speared her with wondering glances, but didn’t cross her path.

Alongside her for most of the day, the sugar cane leaves waved their sharp-edged leaves at each other and towards her in susurrating conversation. They murmured of the sun, the winds, the rains, the recent cyclones, and they told of those who had sheltered in their thick stems, those who craved answers to impossible questions, and those who plotted trouble.

As the sky grew pink, the sugar cane fields ended. The woman nodded a farewell and the leaves responded in a breeze of murmurs. The invisible dog did a shake.

They followed the road towards the outskirts of the village and then veered towards the beach. The woman reached the end of the trees and paused. The shore was pebbles. All shades of charcoal, all smooth, all sizes. The water greeted her shyly, with tiny, rippling waves.

The woman and the invisible dog walked along the pebbles for a while. Then she sat, facing the sea. The invisible dog lay close by.

Tiny waves ran in and washed her muddy feet. The sun had set far away and the dark was growing.

The woman stared into the water with the faraway look of all those who had sat here before her.

The dog exhaled a patient breath.

It rained lightly that night.

The clouds were translucent in the sky and the raindrops glimmered with the weight of starlight as they drifted onto a blue world.

They fell softly around the invisible dog, who sighed in his sleep.

The woman collected the raindrops in her palms and fingertips. She touched them to her lips.

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