Smooth to the touch, familiar, and welcoming, the lariat laid complacent in her hands. A job well done, it seemed to her. Each strand had been carefully tucked. Every coarse filament had been deliberately concealed to perfection. Had she been able to feel pride, this would have been her lasting accomplishment.
The birds outside the barn house became quiet that morning. Her legs carried her on to the grass. Still wet with nocturnal spit, the leafy blades begged her to stay- as if God had thrown some sylvan miracle by her feet as a persuasion, though futile. The moon had begun to exhale into its diurnal pocket. As she stood, the wind collapsed dead. Had she been awake all these days?
The last time she had been outside before sunrise was years ago. Life seemed to peel her out of bed with curiosity back then. Summer camp. The days were overflowing with field trips, guitar lessons, horse back riding, and swimming. It was different. The air wasn’t so sick. The sky wasn’t so bloodthirsty.
She spun around with sleepy heels, no further words left to assemble. Nestled within the stables, timbered beams stretched sadly, awaiting their inevitable mortiferous purpose.
Up the rope flew, tearing down ancient webs. Out the chair shot. Breaths. Tepid breaths. Human breaths.
The laconic brevity of dusk cradled her into finality as the sun rose, three seconds too late.