safekeeping

She laid there, calmly despite her nerves, while the men worked, cool earth beneath her, felt the wet grass on her arms. Her eyes slid up and caught the light through the yellow aspen leaves. The breeze played softly in the branches. She could hear the rustle of leaves on the ground around her. Rotting leaves and the smell of fall. She felt a tug at her back and a grunt escaped her lips. “Careful,” one of the men said. “I know,” replied the other, “keep an eye out, okay?” She heard a sparrow but couldn’t pick it out in the tree above her. Grey sky with clouds rolling by like lazy sighs. “Case.” Some shuffling in the leaves and she tried to look down to see what was happening. She caught a glimpse of bloody windbreakers and masks and she got dizzy. This was so surreal. “Open would be nice,” said the man with his hands inside her chest. “Perhaps you should have been more specific,” the other replied with obvious impatience. She looked down again and saw it. The man had it in her hands. Her heart. Drippy and red like a movie prop in the movies, not really doing anything but being a lump of mess. “You said it’d be safe?” she managed to throw together a sentence. “Yeah, yeah. Very safe. We’ll keep it safe from everyone.” In to the case it went, making an unexpected crunch. The ice. “Okay. Close her up.” The crouching man stood up and stepped away, case in hand. The second man knelt beside her on the ground and she rolled her eyes back up to the leaves, back up to the clouds. Safe. She was taking a huge risk with this one, but there were guarantees, reassurances, and what would they do with it anyhow? The sparrows again, the smell of dead leaves on the ground and the delicious breeze blowing across her chest. She wondered what he was doing at this very moment. Was he getting dressed? Was he going to be there when this thing got dropped off? He said he would. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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