I'm sitting here, in the dark, and looking at all the jars.
They circle around me like gathered priests, offering quiet, whispered benedictions.
There are dozens, each filled with the same murky fluid. All soft grey, pulsing and flowing in time to a subtle, silent heartbeat. Things move in them. Grey, red, pink. Small, with eyes that swivel in their sockets, staring idiotically. They spend all of their time staring at me. I see their mouths moving, filling with fluid. Exhaling the brine, mouthing the same word over and over again.
I suppose that I shouldn't spend so much time here in the cool darkness. That in some way, the world outside keeps moving while I sit here; tears flowing down my cheeks, watching them.
Well, soon I will have to leave. It has been precious months since I added to their number, summer gone away to make room for dead fall. The tree is bearing ripe fruit and it will be wasted if I'm not on hand to pluck it from the branch.
I stand finally, drying my cheeks with the back of my delicate hand, wiping away any last chance of letting my sorrow intervene with a necessary task. My thin scrubs are nothing against the chill here, and my flesh is peppered with what the cold does. Time to go.
I planted the seed and now comes the harvest.
Turning, I give a last sideways glance and whisper.
"I will see you soon."
They still mouth silently, but I know what they are saying, over and over.