In the shower, she squats and whimpers. It’s been a long time since she last saw herself and her legs have ruptured into cactine valleys in the absence of her eyes. She casts a hesitant kind of sunshine, staring, and pricks her fingers on this new landscape. It’s hard to explore; there are hostile plants wherever she searches: mounds of coarse bushes, a thick clique of thorns that has formed in the hollow of her armpit. She fears whispering things that might have bedded down beneath the vegetation; she worries about what they might say.

This country of hers is unfamiliar territory; all has become sharp. In the light, she sees blue and purple shining; colours that grow easily in the dark and you can tell that they are there from the feel of them. They sink inwards.

She snuffles, whines. Her smell has changed. In the heat of the room, it rises off of her and is foreign and familiar. She smells of him. Her hands plough to sift it away. Plough and plough like an animal digging up bones. Her body is buried somewhere here, she knows it. Her body was luscious once: colours that blushed at the slightest touch. She remembers the ferns, the rubber roots that she tended with pride, her pulpy, pliant skin. And the water. She remembers the eager dampness. She does not know if she is allowed to want that back but she pictures people, anyone, no one in particular, stretched out across her turf, reclining … and the prospect makes her scared.

It’s early days. She knows that. They keep telling her. It’s early days. She sees the shears they’ve left and does not touch them; hacking at the barbs will make it worse.

Instead, she reaches for the dial and turns it. Rain falls.

Amy Crosby currently lives on the south coast of England and, despite a perfectly lovely upbringing, has always had a penchant for the dark and strange, which frequently finds its way into her work. Her fiction has been published in 'MUSED - The BellaOnline Literary Review', 'Prole' and 'Bunbury' magazines as well as in various literary webzines.

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