BY F. E. CLARK
The second time she drifted in magenta her blood flowed dark and the purple-blue mist rose before her eyes. It was then, there on the ground beneath him, grit grinding into her shoulder blades, that she remembered that the magenta have visited her once before.
It had been a summer when she was a child the first time the magenta had come. She was in her Sunday best dress of deep pink flowers, knee length white socks and black patent shoes. She ran from the cool of the house where all the shouting began and out into the hot sun. The slam of heat on her head reverberated with the harsh words from inside. The sunburnt lawn offered no place to hide. She ran further. Into the woods, knees and elbows scratched by brambles, hair tugged at the scalp by low branches. Deep and far, only stopping when she heard the anger no more and she reached a place where the wax smell of the resin and leaf mould in the cooler air let her breathe again. There she found a tree to sit beneath and wept.
But one can only weep for so long and there in the gloaming she had opened her eyes again. The trumpeted length of the white and magenta foxglove flower stems had enthralled her. She knew even then they were poisonous. Digitalis Purpurea - her mother taught her all the names of the plants and birds and animals around them, she would remember them even after her mother no longer could.
A bee alit on a single foxglove trumpet, its buzzing amplified as it bumbled inside, then away to the next flower it flew. She imagined herself curling into one of those flowers, lush magenta and white buffeting all around her, so clean and pure that no harsh words could penetrate. She imagined herself cheek to cheek with the poison, immune to it through familiarity and kinship; an understanding, that was how she thought of it, where it all began. Here she slept, deep in the forest until booming voices echoed in the night and she was found, and that was that, for a while.
The third time, she drifted in magenta with the full recall of the past two occurrences and with the passing of years her bloom belied her strength. She was ready. When the magenta mists rose this time they came slowly, like the first turned leaf of autumn when the summer still reigns supreme. His contempt fermented the first few grains of magenta. The empty yet vicious cruelty that he wrought towards her amassed a vibrating purple-pink-blue to match the darkening bruises on her wrists and belly. With the turning of his love, she found herself amid the poison yet again.
Her solution was a long game of brewed tinctures dripped in offerings of food and wine. His gluttony did the rest. No one ever suspected.
For the rest of her life she lived in magenta, her garden filled with foxglove flowers, her heart a chamber filled with the buzzing of peace and satisfaction.
F. E. Clark lives in the North East of Scotland. She writes and paints and walks the perimeter of her days looking for colour and texture to inspire her work. In 2016 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and had a Sma Buik published by Poems For All. Her writing can be found or is upcoming at: Molotov Cocktail Literary Magazine, Planet Paragraph, Twisted Sister Lit, Moonchild Magazine, and The Occulum. website - www.feclarkart.com | twitter - @feclarkart