I saw her coming, leather lead
in hand. Kicking up flaky, orange
mud. The mongrel didn’t see me;
I was hidden beneath the leaf of
the palm tree, waxy hood disguising
my eager spike. She was laughing,
sun-bleached blonde bob bouncing
with each step. I had to do it,
especially when I saw her trainers.
Flimsy from too much wear.
There was a lesson to be learnt there,
and I was the teacher.
Something bit into her toe,
stinging from the inside then out;
hot and debilitating. Everything
became sharper, as though her
surroundings had edges which were
pressing into her skin. The flesh
on her arms prickled. The crickets
screeched in her ears like jammed,
mechanical wheels. She could smell
the sweet liquor from the leaves,
the dry earth and blood. She reached
for her friend and fell.
He bent his head low, shielding
her knotted body and tasting the
air for danger. His ears prickled
at the sound of dead twigs scuffling
in the wind. Snout roaming down her
body, he caught the scent. Poisonous
and bitter, mixed with her tears.
With pointed teeth, he tore off her sock,
and spotted the thorn, a thick and long,
purple mass sitting snug beneath her
skin. He needed to save her.
Copyright: Laura Davis © 2018, all rights reserved.