Tell me about the river. Is it this living and vibrant place? A starling oasis from the tired and withering summer surrounding? Is she almost happy here? Splashing along with Abagail (mule), even Isaak (horse) would muster a smile by the dumb mule’s persistent bliss. And so the girl too plays and is relieved some of her guilt and torture and trauma-
or she sits in the withering- twenty yards from the banks and all the life; her stubborn serving out, a prison; she withers herself amongst the drooping branches and the sun starched grass- those scratching blades, the arms and legs.
Oh dear thing you’ll have to come along, the madman and woman- that piggish pair will be back again to harm you.
At this rate you think that perhaps this is your deserved lot; the lean man knows, he too is serving out a sentence. Maybe the two of you will be murdered and tortured together- the criminals you both are. But at least- sweet company, as to not die or hurt and be disgraced alone. I pity the one that has to wait and be killed second. The waiting, and the watching. For surely they won’t have the courtesy to kill you both in the same instant. I hope it is the lean man, he has more years, he is better suited for the painful things, maybe he deserves them more.
What is worse? They might think to let you die alone! Could they be so clever and thoughtful? Can the villain’s mind proceed with such care? Of course! They would tear you apart, why not the solitude, then the slow killing, and all by yourself!
But for now, at this time, presently, she does not know him and he only assumes to know a bit of her but is likely absolutely wrong. Would the piggish pair let them grow deeply fond of each other? Would the piggish pair let them grow deeply fond of each other such that being apart would be such torture unto itself? How could they know? And then after they had let you love each other so fondly, so genuinely, honest and deep, they not only tear you apart but make it seem like the other is doing harm to your shared love, or to themselves! Oh to watch them harm themselves, that is torture worse than being struck or stuck or pinched and bled. “My hands! Take those! Or my ears and eyes! Pluck my nails or burn my skin, but don’t let her hurt herself, or he himself, and don’t let us be something worse than desperate beasts.”
Which would be better than? To escape together, this bond, the flight and fear, then the bond, the bond through the running- and of course dark and light places tucked away in trees and leaves or distant and strange places. But this is perhaps playing into the terrible plan itself. The depth and bond, the love so that the tearing is so so much more horrible. Worse than my arm! Worse than my whole body! Which would be better than? Do you leave this thing alone? Never meet? Live out your own tortures the way you have chosen? The end is fine, a simple torture and killing by the piggish pair. They would be gratified enough- but not given the lengthy satisfaction of a lengthy and brilliant- …
what is that then? What do you call this action of patient plotting pain? So devious to let the lean man and girl suffer by their own meeting and loving one another.
Enough then. Enough of this thinking. She is only on the hill to dry off a bit. She has been in the water playing with the horse and mule. Sure she is still suffering a certain pain. It is deep and ever present, this sometimes sickening loss- the way you might feel sick when you haven’t eaten in so long and then dehydration too. But she has met this good mule and the acceptable horse, or the good horse and the wonderful dumb mule who is not nearly as dumb as everyone would think. It is simply those doe eyes that make you think so. And the looking over wrong shoulders if you tap her and run. Abagail (mule) knows when the girl or lean man is upset, and when to give Isaak (horse) proper breadth for his moods. She can also pull heavy loads without hurting her back at all. It took years for the lean yet sturdy man to learn that much.