Driving. The road ribboning out ahead, onward. A blur of green trees to the left, cool with shadow, leaves rustling. To the right, open fields echoing the trees’ green pulse.
— She found them in her yard.
The car’s open windows gathering his words; spreading, elongating, lifting them away.
— Two fawns. The mother never returned for them.
On the right, in the distance, a low structure resolving. Beyond the field’s edge – a café. Bright white flash of walls. Glassless window casements stretching from foundation to roofline. Over the low wall, a fawn leaping out one of the wide-open casements. Stick-thin legs extending over grass, bunching, and tangling. The fawn collapsing – an angular heap of pale rust fur within the field.
Crunching of tires on gravel. The car pulling over, stopping on the shoulder. Opening the door. Jumping out. Running across the field, legs eating up ground, arms lifting. Outwards. Toward the fawn.
Don’t be dead don’t be dead.
A woman exiting the café, reaching the fawn and scooping it up. Cradling it in her arms; the fawn, struggling, kicking.
Arriving, breathless, beside them. Noticing, over the woman’s shoulder, the second fawn inside the café, standing on a bistro table.
— So wonderful that you’ve saved them!
The woman stroking the fawn’s narrow skull. The fawn, laying its head against her shoulder, against the spill of her dark hair. She, kissing its forehead.
— It was the only choice.
The woman turning, walking back to the café, setting the fawn down near its twin; draping her arms over each.
Following. Entering the windowed/windowless building. Approaching the table, and the woman, and the fawns. Observing all three slowly turning. Seeing the fawns’ faces clearly. Gasping aloud. Staring at those flat, identically stamped oval faces.
The creatures staring back – fawns with the faces of sober young girls. Ringleted hair tumbling to either side of their large, tufted, twitching ears.
— C.Birde, 9/17