Between the back porch and the garage is a small patch of grass barely three strides in length. Each blade of grass a sharp knife to the unprotected foot. Half the area is brown and dying but the roughest blades flourish green and strong. Jamie always likes to pretend that the yard is her tiny paradise. Fences on either side grow into mountain peaks protecting her fantastic nirvana. Weathered siding on the garage shapes an abandoned monastery she visits in daydreams. Today the small patch is nothing more than a tiny parcel of wasted space.
Jamie walks out the house as his screams echo through the thick-paned sliding door. Outside they are muted vibrations still painful to her heart. Another crash erupts and shards of broken glass smash on the hardwood floor. Jamie wonders if it is another framed wedding photo. Possibly it is his scotch glass. At this point they both hold the same emotional value. She has always seen people as a color. Not a physical color, but a tone in her mind. Her mother swaddled in purple. Her sister light and airy in sky blue. He has always been a solid red until recently. Now he is a sickly green and brown.
A cool wind pushes through the stacked up three-flats rustling away the last warmth of summer. Jamie steps down from the splintered wood porch feeling dried grass crunch under the pads of her feet. Usually the sensation indicates transformation. Mountains would grow and a paradise born. Today the area remains a city backyard. Two steps more and Jamie reaches center. She sits amongst the green and brown and pulls a granny smith apple from the pocket of her gray hooded sweatshirt.
Through the slits in the wooden fence a black shadow quietly prowls. A chain drags against the ground clinking with each turn of the beast. She can feel each chain kink together and apart constantly moving but never changing. The shadow senses Jamie and bears it’s full thought upon her.
Jamie switches her body to face the weathered white garage. Every rotting board a reminder of disrepair. Underneath its façade the bones of the frame peek through showing their wear. Inside the garage is nothing but junk. Boxes of old memories packed for safe keeping now subject to hostile elements. A workbench filled with paint, repair materials and plans for the future gathers dust.
She lay on the grass and feels the tiny pinpricks through the sweatshirt. Once a comfort and sense of peace the ground is now just a torment. Above her the gray sky passes darker tones along the breeze. Her fingers circle the green apple and rub the waxen skin. Inside another crash erupts and glass reigns down. The shadow paces faster as chains tighten around a post in the earth. Wind rustles through the garage and the bones creak and whistle. Jamie closes her eyes and her fingers stop moving over the skin of the apple. She digs a fingernail into the fruit and the juices stick to her skin. Her finger drifts to her red lips and lets the juice drip into her mouth. Jamie closes her eyes and lets the world recede. Fences grow into mountains and her monastery rises. The grass grows and pulls her into paradise.