#AStoryAWeek | Week 17 Revisited: The Pinch

Week 17 | 494 Words

The Pinch

Nyla is lying on the grass staring up at the sky. It is such a perfect evening that she suddenly feels an overwhelming need to both clutch it to her and let it go. Nyla’s regular internal battle consists of these opposing desires; keep it close, keep it safe, hold tight. Let it go, relax, breathe. Keepitclose is tense and short. Letitgo is sighs and smiles. One day, Nyla reflects, she will be able to shut them both up and just listen to herself.

Grass tickles her neck. She tenses at the sensation, and then forces her shoulders back towards the ground. Letitgo cheerfully reminds her that you can’t let nature bug you, excuse the pun. The only way to live with it is to learn to love it. 

Nyla breathes in a lungful of night air. She should be enjoying this. This is one of those shining moments that you don’t always get to identify whilst it’s happening. She’s lucky enough to know how amazing it is to have this view, this solitude, this perfect evening warmth. Experience every part of this moment, Letitgo advises, because then you’ll never be able to look back and regret that you didn’t know what you had when you had it. Sink into it. Let it wash over you.

But don’t fall asleep. You’ll miss it.

Letitgo, Nyla imagines, is one of those embarrassing people who sings too loudly around the campfire, dances too freely at weddings, and insists on paddling in the sea, drinking water from streams, and taking her shoes off at every available opportunity.

Keepitclose is humming anxiously at the back of her head that something is wrong. On this particular occasion Nyla wants very much to lie back, still and peaceful, and just watch the full moon and the gently travelling clouds. She does not want doom-laden mumbles from a voice that frequently prophecies catastrophe, and seems particularly prone to it when she is happy.

Keepitclose is a tiny little man in a bowler hat, his body curled protectively around the handle of his raised umbrella. He rarely looks out from underneath it, because he’s bound to see something dangerous.

Ignore him, advises Letitgo, Relax. Sink into the earth. Let Mother Nature caress you.

Nyla and Keepitclose roll their eyes, and Keepitclose senses an opportunity to identify hazards that may or may not be there.

Is it suddenly cold? He wonders. He hardly ever speaks in anything but questions.

Is it suddenly getting darker? Do those clouds look like fingers?

Letitgo takes an imaginary breath to make a sarcastic retort, but is silenced by the fact that the clouds are no longer softly gliding. Instead they are rapidly creeping along the skies, ill formed prongs becoming wizened claws. They reach out towards the milky orb that is the moon, its pale glow suddenly made fragile behind the enormity of this monstrous hand. The fore-finger and thumb glide apart, snap together, and pinch out the moon.