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cherry

Precocious - Beginning of the Ending

Shasta will bide her time, when she returns to the garden. Dinner will be over; the tables will be cleared. The ladies in red tracksuits (new addition) will bring the other children into the TV room to settle them on the couches and read them stories. Some of the adults will head home. Irene will ask Shasta if she's tired. Nick will announce there are games in the billiard room (downstairs), and sit himself at a table in the corner to play cards. Simone will be there, spinning the roulette wheel. And there will be the pool table, dart board and other board games. Irene and Brenda just put themselves on a couch and keep talking.

Shasta hangs around Nick's card table until she gets an invitation to come closer. Nick will be explaining the rules (note to self - learn some card game rules!). (Also note: he will be eating from a bowl of cherries) His seat will be positioned such that no one is behind him to witness what happens when he leans closer to Shasta, to ask her which card she thinks he ought to throw down next. Shasta will be answering the question when she feels her dress moving. Nick's hand will travel up the inside of her leg and trace the line between her panties and skin. That is all. I think Shasta will ask to be excused again. She'll go upstairs to the powder room and be ashamed of her red mouth. She will use the toilet and wash her hands yet feel dirty. She will go outside, into the dark, where the cherry tree has become an overarching shadow in the midst of the garden. She will see the children in the TV room, all wrapped in blankets and falling asleep while the ladies in red tracksuits read. And she will lie down on the grass. She'll feel the little fruits being crushed beneath her, maybe hold a cherry in her hand and see its soft curve. She'll know the juice will stain her dress.

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January 2015

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