3. IN THE GARDEN

It was there.

In the garden.

That I saw her. 

Just as I came out the door, ready to run off and play in the woods, she just stood there.

Leaning against the wall.

She wore a red dress, with swirly black patterns printed on it.

Her long, dark hair was neatly collected into a shiny ponytail.

She smiled at me, and then quickly ran away.

Without warning.

And I died there and then.

In the few seconds that our eyes met, a bubbling sensation welled out from the earth beneath me.

It entered my soles and rushed up through my legs, reached my belly, and made it explode into a million pieces of swarming insects.

As the wave hit my heart, it got ripped open, and transformed into a cloud of vibrating, sparkling particles that flickered in all the colours I knew.

And some new ones.

An eternity passed.

Then I could hear the voice of my mother calling my name.

It sounded as if she was standing at the bottom of a deep well.

I slowly returned to my senses.

Changed.

I have been looking for the girl ever since.