Goddess silence, Girl eyes

"I don't want to bother if this is all in vain,

I'm not going to live if it's all about pain."

She was a wild creature. Untameable, untrainable and unattainable. She came from nowhere, she was everywhere. Her eyes held nothing but sadness, her body was strength, power. She was small and slight, dark and deep, full and empty. She hid in small places, knotted up like a bat, her body balled, wiry, and ready to fight. When she woke, she would break free of the bonds of dreams in a mere moment. She was less than human, not more. She was part of the ground, part of the earth, part of the forests and part of the ocean. She was instinctive, elementally minded, her thoughts not thoughts but as one with her muscles, she was who she was, not a dreamer or a thinker.

She would run across meadows like a horse, lowing with the cows, chattering with chaffinches, hunting with the foxes, hiding with the rabbits, nursing the lambs, and chomping the blue-tit chicks. No one noticed her as she moved among them, for she was not truly a person. She was part of them, just as she was part of the ground. She was a wild girl, a goddess, a spirit, a star.

She squatted on the river bottom, rolling salmon roe between her hands, chirping to a minnow. Her spirit rump was part of the mud of the river bed, her hair swirling with the water weed, her eyes seeing threw the bubbles. She was perfectly serene, perfectly happy. He snatched her up from her lair knowing nothing. She lay across his thighs, her body lolling sideways, her skin suddenly hard and real. She couldn't breath, and at once he fell upon her, pumping her chest and breathing into her, and she whimpered and woke under his chapped lips. Her brain woke with her, and suddenly she was alive. Her instincts disappeared and emotions woke. Confusion sprang around her as he stared at her naked body, speaking quickly in words she could not understand.

This world took her over, this world she did not understand, but which she was part of. It taught her its language, and ensnared her in its rules. There was no such thing as a goddess, and therefore she had never been one. She learnt that soon, and stuck by her knowledge, as she knew, at the same time, that her shady, happy memories were no more than dreams.

"Esther," a voice called across the hay, spoke her name, the one they had given her. The horse pressed its nuzzle into her palm, and she stroked it softly, just above its nostrils.

"Are you Esther?" the voice was quieter now, distant to her. "They said I would find you here."

She nodded, feeling the horse settling under her fingertips, leaning its great head towards her shoulder. They were not very intelligent, horses, she had been told. Perhaps that was why she related to them so well. When she rode upon them she sometimes felt like she was at home, like the free air and the thundering hoofs were what she really belonged to.

"They said you would teach me to ride," the voice mumbled now. She swung around, startled, and saw the other girl for the first time. Her eyes were deep, dark and scared, like a horse's eyes. She was wild somehow, wild like she had once been.

"I'm Mary," she said. The name suited her just as badly as Esther's.

Her horse butted into her shoulder, and she turned back to it. "You can ride her," she said. She felt Mary step forward onto the hay, looking nervously at the horse.

"You've never ridden before," she said, taking Mary's hand. It was cool in hers, somehow holding it felt like being under water. She held it for a few moments longer then necessary, but Mary did not pull away. This was like riding a horse; she felt home again, somehow. As soon as Mary was on horseback, she became more comfortable. The skittish horse settled under her, and only Mary was surprised by this. She knew that something was different about this girl. She knew that she was like her.

She took Mary's reigns, carefully leading the horse out of the cool stable block. The other instructors could not figure out what they were more surprised at; that Esther was actually teaching someone, or that the nervous girl was strangely incredible in the saddle. She led Mary away from the arena and the other riders, the sad stable ponies who held their ears back and their heads down. She led Mary out towards the hills, running along beside the trotting steed, her feet light on the springy grass. Mary looked queenly and magnificent riding above her, her small figure erect and confident, the horse strong and almost prancing. It was more beautiful than anything she had ever seen before, more real, more free.

She did not say anything for there was nothing to say. But after a moment she let go of Mary's reigns, and Mary rode on, her body moving with the horse, like she was part of it, like it was part of her, like they had grown from the green hills and the glassy lakes.

She watched them until they disappeared. And then she kept on watching, perhaps for ever.

"But you could all be lying,

What if I'm not even trying?

Just let me go, let me see if I can fly

Let me reach for the raindrops, let me hug the sky."