- Vol. 01
- Chapter 03
She says: ‘I am Artemis, goddess of the hunt.’
Barefoot hunting bears. Checked shirt, chocked barrel. Her feet are in the daylight and her face is in the midnight shadow, because she is day and night at once, she is the moon struck by sunlight. You can’t see her face, because the face is how we ground out empathy, the connection we make with others, and the huntswoman must be pitiless to do her job properly.
She says: ‘I am Artemis, who loves the silent woods in the mountain’s shadow’. Naturally, she is wearing earrings (Greek, artem, ‘to dangle’, ‘earring’). Of course her first name is Diana. Fairy tales delight her; their chill, their ingenuity, the way they are always burgeoning with swift violence.
Silence, and the low sustained cello-note of an overhead plane, and silence again. The sky is made out of silence. The leaves do not rustle. It is a cold springtime, not yet cleared of snow. Fish shiver in the stream, tremble and are gone. Tadpoles cluster like whole notes escaped from their staves.
She is unshouldering the rifle. She aims through the trees. This deer has breathed all the air it will ever breathe. When she strikes, it will throw all the birds into the air.
She says: ‘I am cut in half like the moon; but like the moon I grow whole again.’
No, I thought I saw someone, over in amongst the trees.
How can I know who? A woman, I think.
Ravens todd about the sky like wind-blown leaves. White, and whites. We could say, the day construes the whiteness of tornados into something static. She says Atlases and he says Atli—it's a kind of game between them. Greens, greens, the bloom of their scarfs. The birds are a mess against the whiteness. She says muster, he says muster? mustard? She could speak up. He could be less deaf. The birds could quieten down a little. It's not as if the world is ending. The ice snips scissor-like when they step onto the puddles. The crack spreads, the cracks spread. It's not as if the world is untried, or untryable. The copse of trees on the hilltop is an acropolis. The west sucks the sun through milk. Her mind is a blank. She says she remembers where they parked the car. She is trying to remember exactly where.