by Fiona Campbell
I stand here alone in the vastness that surrounds me. The heat from the sun sinks into my bones, turning them to white ash; I am without weight or form. This desert is my refuge, my sanctuary. Here no one needs me, no demands are made upon my time. I am myself and I am no one.
I let the joy of being back fill me and take a first step into the hot sand, my toes sinking softly. In the near distance an image shimmers, shining towers and lush green trees. As I walk my steps bring me ever closer to this mirage of paradise, it becomes crystal clear and sparkles with magic.
Still all is silence and sand dunes, magic reaches out to me from the oasis and hot skin prickles with goose bumps. Tendrils snake around my ankles, invisible and soft as a babies last breath. I try to step backwards and cannot. I walk further in, unable to turn back now if I wished.
Close up all is deep, vibrant green. No animals, no insects, still no one but me. A whispering leads me on, voices without bodies, laughter without mouths. I am scared and the desert seems a million miles away now, I continue to walk and come to a path.
Left or right, it forks and I realise now I can choose my fate, here in this moment. To the left the dusty path shimmers golden and a rainbow of flowers line the way. To the right it is rocky and cut glass glitters cruelly in the dappled sunlight. My choice seems easy but it is not. The evil draws me to it, beckons.
With all my heart I run down the path of lightness and ease, never once looking over my shoulder. With my feet I step towards the darkness, the fear pulling me in, the horror of the voices calling to me. I could have chosen the silence but I followed the voices.
I stand here alone, in the vastness that surrounds me. The coldness of the night settles inside, turns my bones to ice. I am without weight or form. My sanctuary has become my never-ending nightmare. Here no one needs me, no demands are made upon my time. I am myself and I am no one.
Fiona Campbell writes while the children run wild and the house even wilder.