Artifact

Adele strolled down the path, footsteps even and slow. The trail was heavy with fall color; gold, burgundy, wine red, and she inhaled the scent of dying leaves. Fall was her favorite season. But still, she sighed. Adele was in her own autumn. For the most part, she was not lonely, the cats made her laugh, pestered her, and snuggled with her. But she wished – not for the first time – that she had a child. But it was too late for that.

While she walked, her mind drifted to the horror movie she had watched the night before. It had been well done, and unexpected. The creature was all mouth with long fangs. Tentacles sprouted all over its upper surface, along with some bulbous eyes on stalks. It also propelled itself with tentacles and had been quite fast. Her foot came down on something small and hard and she stumbled, pivoting to see what it was. 

A fist sized metal object lay on the ground. It was faceted like a gem. With neither sound nor warning, it began to unfold. Like origami being disassembled it expanded in small geometric plains until it was as big as she was. And she was looking at the monster from last nights movie. Tentacles reached for her. She back-pedaled wildly away from the three inch fangs, then managed to turn and run, stopping only when she stumbled and collapsed on the ground. Her heart and lungs slowed and nothing jumped on her, which gave her the courage to look up. Nothing was there. 

Climbing to her feet, Adele thought about how to get back to her car. The fear and running had left her exhausted. Her only options were to cut through the brush, or go back along the trail. Toward the monster. But there was nothing on the trail. Adele didn’t think she would make it through the woods, so she sighed and slowly headed back. It didn’t seem like she had walked far before she spotted the sheen of metal on the ground. She stopped and thought. Then took a few more steps closer and pictured a mouse. Nothing happened. A few more steps. Still nothing. Tentatively, she approached the object until she was close enough to touch it.

Still holding a mouse in her mind, she reached out and made contact with the metal lump. It unfolded, and the origami settled into a mouse shape. Fur grew and the mouse wiggled its nose and looked up at her. She dropped the mouse image and did her best to think about a clear, empty sky. The mouse collapsed back into a metal lump. Taking a glove out of her pocket, Adele used it to pick up the lump, and put it in her pocket. 

Once at home, she sat down and visualized a baby. She took her time, imagining every detail, including keeping the shape when she was not looking at it. Then she touched the metal. 

Published by sabrinarosen

Sabrina Rosen is a writer, home remodeler, massage therapist, and, landlord. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two tuxedo cats.

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