Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Mary Upson

Sheba

Not a breath of wind disturbed the silence. Even the frogs and snails seemed hushed as the 3am moon became enshrouded in mist. There was an expectancy; the hint of possibilities.
A distant cough that may have been the bark of an urban fox rang out. The moonlight, muted by the fog, now gave only diffused light; all colours bled from the garden which, earlier, had danced so bright in moonshadow and even colour.
There was a fullness to the night as she sat in the autumnal garden. Space and time and glorious sharpness just for the living.
Silently the shadow moved, sweeping across neighbouring gardens. She sipped her tea in peace.
The shadow sped to her side; darker than the night and was then in her lap.
She smiled as the paws kneaded her inadequate thighs, the tail swishing in her face. The unbelievably thick fur was pressed to her hands for receipt of strokes.
A turn, a lithesome twist and clear, green-within-yellow eyes stared into hers; a damp nose sniffing the air and then nuzzling her.
An intermittent friendship; the shadow arriving as and when. Each visit transported her back to childhood; reminded her of the happy bits.
The black china cat she had bought at a jumble sale and named Sheba. The deep shelves fitted to her boxroom wall, built by her father. She’d made them into a dolls’ house; building furniture from matchboxes, using scraps of fabric for furnishings.
On the landing, out of reach was the dolls’ house her father was making for her. It never got finished; he just never had time. Her mother would tell her, ‘That’s yours, when it’s finished’.
So, she’d had to make her own home; good training for later.
A solitary child, there had been a pet cat, a randy tabby that had populated the area. Her companion at play, ever patient at home but out when he wished.
As a solitary adult she stroked the shadow, now settled. There was understanding and a growing contentment that all that had been, had been for the best; even the horrors had refined her being.
She sat at the axis of her life; pivoted between past and future. Only in the present could the stillness be reached, as the past became understood and the future became less frightening; the future that was so unexpected.
The tea was drained. The shadow arched and padded, wobbling on her lap, peering into the gloaming. A slight crackle of twig and the shadow slid off in search of frogs.
What, she wondered, would be her quarry? To remember the path she chose to tread before the distractions?
It would come; she’d remember when the time was right. For hadn’t she forgotten about Sheba, the china cat, before the shadow uncovered that memory?

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.