The Black Dog that tries to stalk me has found me once again.
He tries to intimidate me by making his presence known.
He wants me to know that he is there.
He wants to keep me looking behind.
To take my eyes off what is ahead.
To keep looking to what is in the past.
To try to make me afraid of the future.
To drag me back to the darkness of before.
To tempt me to walk deeper into the bleakness.
She knew the names they called her.
Never to her face, but muttered and whispered.
The more waspish in the harbour called her “uncan” –
meaning “from another area”.
All the names they used reinforced that she was a stranger.
One kept at arms length.
Her looks betrayed her Nordic heritage.
Long, straight blond hair hung like a curtain
in front of her face, hiding her pale blue eyes.
Not that anyone ever looked her in the face.
The yellow light streaming from the window drew her forward.
The warmth of the light in strong contrast to the cold and grey outside.
The grey that had become her companion, her life, her bed.
Hugging the shadows she edges forward, not wanting to be seen.
Feet that had long since lost their feeling shuffle forward.
Numb fingers stretch out.
She edges closer to the glass.
She wants to look inside but not to be seen.
To be an invisible witness.
The vast desert stretches before me.
It fills my vision from horizon to horizon.
Bronze-yellow undulating dunes
flow one into another as far as I can see.
By day the sun blazes down
and bakes the sand beneath my feet.
I feel its heat coming up through my shoes.
Each step clings to my leaden feet.
The wind stirs up the sand and flings it into my face,
stinking my cheeks and blinding my eyes.
Beware the loner amongst you.
He who has spent his life with only himself for company.
So long has he been like this
that it becomes the norm for him.
See the lone figure walking in The Village.
A figure kept there against his will.
He does not know how he arrived,
nor why he is being kept.