It was midnight now and there was not a sight of anyone about, but the tapping sound of her guiding stick receded through the lamp-lit abandoned streets. She was used to it now, the darkness that was her day and the clarity that was her night. At night she could come out to the open from the habitation that she had created for herself behind the alleys, to hunt for her next day’s meal. Asha had the least affection for begging for her daily bread or stealing from passers-by, this was not her modus operandi for she thought to herself, if by any chance her parents had left her by the side of the road for a better life, she might as well create it for herself.
She had now grown accustomed to the omniscience that her other senses had evolved to create. Her skin could feel a change in the weather, a shift in the wind, the rain clouds forming…this was her forte and she was good at it. She could taste the environment around her and she was saddened by the toxicities that man had surrounded himself with, for even the rainwater had a vile taste and the air was filled with smoke monsters invading the planet’s core. Her feet were constantly feeling the rising heat on the streets she walked upon, warning of a sunrise apocalypse. Her mind had charted the whole of the city like a qualified London cab driver,the sewers and the warehouses,where the most abominable crimes took place.
But now Asha was on the hunt, a savage beast, a benefactor of a cruel life and a motherless child, nothing was on her way now. She could smell hints of vinegar and ketchup sprayed on smoky ribs that had been left outside on the grill, hers for the taking. She walked around the house and she could tell it was a grandiose mansion, for even its thick ghastly gates spelt out RICH. At the back of her mind, her conscience thought out the paradox of being rich; no one believes you’re rich until you show it and that’s much about anything that’s fun about being rich, showing off. She could feel the pattern on the gate, it was not in braille but she could tell what it was, a tree encrusted upon the cold steel. It startled her for a second as she felt for her necklace, the only thing her parents left with her and it was outlined in the same fashion.
She fell back not sure what lay before her; the future or the past for now the hunger had subsided and in its place stood curiosity. A strange feeling it was, trying to push her into the past, to that heart breaking day she was left behind, unable to hold on to anything familiar. For the first time she could tell that there was no more running from the truth, no hiding behind this brave façade, no building up walls to keep people out. She had to face it, in her own way she wanted to see the monsters that lay behind those iron gates, lavishing themselves in their silk clothes and heartless souls, forgetting that their past was about to be their eternal haunting. Asha was here to cut down that symbol of pain outlined on those gates, she had found her closure, she was here to cut down the family tree.
“Perhaps it was freedom itself that choked her..”-The Price of Salt
Collin Atuti



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