by Roshna Rusiniya
In my mind, I am envisioning everything- wet grass tickling my toes, air smelling vaguely of honeysuckle, hundreds of daisies dancing in the breeze. I gradually opened my eyes, giving myself enough time to adjust to the darkness. I just wanted to sit on the bench and gaze at the sunset. When did it turn so dark? Apart from the wet grass beneath my feet, nothing matched the vision I had in my mind. All I see is the open grass field in front of me, a few wooden benches here and there. There was a pungent odour in the air too, like someone was burning rubber. Strange...
“She is waking up.’’ A voice spoke, not too far from me.
“I want to touch the clown, ” a kid shouted.
The moonlight spilling into the bench where I am sitting now, is enough for me to see the small crowd gathered around, but not enough to see their faces clearly.
I tried to sit straighter on the bench, but my dress is pulling at me. It kind of feels heavy and itchy and I suddenly have this urge to strip out of it. But considering the fact that I have a small audience, I completely give up that idea. I glanced down and my eyes widened in horror at the sight of the bright and striped look I am spotting now. Why on earth am I dressed like a clown?
“Are you ok?” another voice asked.
I am trying to figure out the same too. I waited for the fog to clear up and the snippets of the recent events to float back into my brain.
The bicycle...the road..the fall…
“I fell.” I said, more like a whispering to myself.
“Are you hurt?” asked a lady in a concerned voice.
“No.” I shook my head.
“How did you fall?” Another question, still the same lady.
“A lone bale of hay in the middle of the road.”
“What?” the crowd exclaimed in unison.
I repeated what I said and this time I could see their faces clearly, as the moonlight directly shone on them. They were quiet, with facial expressions ranging from sarcasm to disbelief.
I oddly felt uncomfortable, as if sensing the air of hostility around me. I even heard someone muttering ‘insane.’
I glanced around, frantically searching for something to prove to them that I am not insane.
There it is- my bicycle, parked across the road. I stood up and walked towards the bicycle ignoring the murmurs growing behind me.
Then I saw them- the hay strands stuck on the wheels!
I turned around, with a triumphant smile to announce my discovery…
Just to find myself all alone on the grassy knoll…
“Mommy. Wake up. I am hungry.”
My three year old daughter stared down at me. Wait? I am in the bedroom? What was all that then?
Such a weird dream...
“Mommy? Why do you have white paint on your face? Are you wearing a clown costume?"