I took my daughter to the lake. We spread a blanket in the grass and ate fat, purple grapes. Juice ran from her chin. Fat drops of it dotted her sundress. Her father worked until late. He tried so hard. We all felt alone.
I went places with my daughter, the market and the playground, but I felt uncomfortable. I saw a woman once who stood on her hands on a glittering saddle on top of a galloping horse. I dreamed about her, thought about her body, her silver spurs. Before birthing my daughter, I was going to be an illusionist on a stage.
We felt comfortable in places where people didn't come.
My girl wore a flower in her hair. We walked, picking up clam shells. "Look, mommy," she would say. "This one is brown!" They were all brown. She begged me to bring them with us. Soon, my hands were full and I started letting them fall in a trail behind us.
Sheltered by a bend in the water's edge, a girl surprised us, running through the sand, the hem of her dress wet. She stopped, her eyes wide. "Hello," I said meekly. She turned and ran.
Pushing through a mandrake, we emerged into a grove of honeysuckle. The girl stood at her mother's hip. They watched us, not speaking. The girl's father sat in a wheel chair. He was young and pale and handsome, dressed in black. The woman adjusted an umbrella over his head, tucked a strand of hair behind his ear, glancing at us darkly. He struggled to turn his head to regard us. I felt something like longing for him. He looked away.
"Come here, darling," the mother said, her eyes shimmering. She guided the girl away, glancing over her shoulder with a darkness that froze my blood. "Come away from there."
I held my daughter's hand and we passed by them silently. The small girls locked eyes, for a moment, and then we were gone.
This piece is an entry in the Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week we had to write 33-333 words using the 3rd definition of the word, black.