Walk in the Hills

Walk in the Hills

What have I done – what the fuck have I done?

Attempting to hide his cigarette smoke in the palm of his hand, knowing that he should put it out right now, he looked down the slope. She lay motionless, one of her legs turned out more than it ever had when she danced. He called softly, then louder, ‘Suki, Suki.’

He looked round, a twitch of his head, a furtive glance right and left. No-one. No phone signal. An hour back to the car. He hadn’t told anyone they were walking up in the hills. He didn’t know if she had.

He sat on a fallen tree trunk, cigarette still smouldering. He took a long drag and carefully put it out, mindful of warnings about starting fires. The ground was bone dry, he crushed small sparks with his boot.

She hadn’t moved.

She pushed herself away from me. I didn’t do anything.

She lay on her back, eyes open, looking at him. He had a spasm of pain in his gut, nausea washed over him. He wanted to shut her eyes, stop the accusing stare. He wanted to get a thousand miles away.

He turned, doubled over, wanting to throw up but nothing came. He stayed for a moment, looking at the world upside down, and his lighter fell to the ground.

The idea took hold, flared out of his control. He put a flame to a patch of brush and watched as the fire grew, slowly at first, then faster, consuming the ground between him and her.

He started to run.

What the fuck have I done?