|August 6, 2012||Posted by Georgie Tindale under creative writing|
“They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odour is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.”
From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
Afternoon clouds are waiting. A musky haze blurs my vision and I sense my body sinking under the weight of sleep and delirium. Waking up and falling back into a dreamless mist where sleep is rich and thick. Red and black surrounding me and my body seems small compared to the river of blood and flames consuming me. After another effortless afternoon spent incapable of movement I pull the nearest crimson object towards me and rip it apart. A poppy flower crumbles and stains my shaking palm. But before any sense comes to me the sun envelops me and once more I am gone.
Awake again, and my mouth is dry, my hair itches and my skin is waxy. From my position curled up under a flawless sky I can see only flowers, what must be hundreds and hundreds of them, which glare brightly and sway slightly in the breeze. In the field there is little noise, just the rustling of leaves and occasional insect crawling over my face. This place is oddly empty of birds, I see them fly but they never stop to sing. They don’t like to stay. I have been here for what seems an endless time, opening and closing my eyes for minutes before I’m lost again and the vapours of the flowers lull me back into delirium.
Evening is coming and for once I can see another person in the distance. A farmer or labourer of some kind. I pull my body upwards, I strain and push and ache until I am sitting. I open my lips to cry a greeting but I am so unaccustomed to speech that only a rasp escapes. He wears a brown overcoat and wellington boots, and a large black and white dog is his only company. They stride towards the edge of the field and close the gate, turning away again.
I lie down again. My blue skirt is torn and my white blouse is stained red. I have a cut on my knee, which stings unless there is rain to soothe it. I could have been here for months, weeks or days. It hardly matters which, my eyes burn from too much light and the familiar pungent smell creeps into my mouth, my skin, my nose like an insect until my mind is black. I fall into the depths of an empty mind without resistance, and I keep falling.