Old Woman Wearing White Wood Horns

by Thorin Klosowski

The canyon stretches out before you. Its walls are so tall you see nothing else. Just wall. The too bigness of it makes you feel like vomiting.

If you’re not careful, the wall takes you. It eats up your consciousness. You look closer anyway. Time shows itself through small cracks. Little burrows. Minuscule edges hold small plants.

You’re making your way through the western slot. Hunting for calm in the chaos. Trying to wrap up rhyme within reason.

You set up camp. As you unload everything, your pots and pans clatter. You spring up the tent on powdered sugar sand. The smell of propane slides underneath the smell of desert dust. You can see other campers doing the same. Quietly making the motions.

At night, you’re restless. Through the thin tent layer you see a woman enter your campsite. She has horns on her head. She walks cautiously. She peeks into each person’s memory, hunting for memories, hunting for sustenance.

She finds the death of a child. A divorce. Lost siblings. Lost loves.

She eats them all. Leaving nothing in their place. Nothing fills the void. But nothing is better than loss, she thinks. She approaches your tent. You feel a weight lifting.

In the morning you look up at the canyon walls and feel something other than dread. You feel, almost, comfortable. You continue on.

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