You don’t usually see people genuinely enjoying nature. More often than not, they’re so busy with their phones these days that they forget to look up, to take in the world and actually take note of where they’re going.
But she did. Though, like many others, there were headphones stuffed in her ears – her hands were free, her eyes searching. She scanned the walls, coated in a thick layer of creeping vines, and a small smile quirked at the corner of her mouth. Then, her attention turned to the church – now refurbished and turned into a lecture hall – and to my surprise, her eyebrow twitched upwards in silent amusement. Was she religious? No, surely a follower of God wouldn’t be happy about a church being gutted. I was curious as to why she found the church so amusing, but when she looked back to the vines, I realised that she must have been comparing them. What did these two structures have in common? Their styles were old, and oddly out of place in the metropolis they called home.
Out of pure curiosity, I followed her. It wasn’t too far out of my way, and she had intrigued me. Her leather-clad feet seemed confident in their stride, but her hunched shoulders denoted a hint of trepidation. She clung to the straps of her purse, subconsciously cocooning herself in an unapproachable bubble. What did she need to protect? What was she trying to hide from?
Was the world such a burden that she retreated into herself so that she had the strength to keep going?
(Writing Prompt: In response to the previous piece ‘Vine’, write from the perspective of someone else watching you have these thoughts.)
Disclaimer: I was worried about this piece being a bit self-aggrandising, but it’s difficult to understand how others will view something you’ve written. I hope that others can see themselves in this – observing nature, hunching away from the world.