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The Black Widow series has been enriched with this delightful scene of countryside bliss.
A woman steps into the crisp morning air to collect apples for her favourite dessert from the orchard nearby. A sweet treat to lift the bitterness of leading a lonely existence off her tongue.
If only her husband hadn’t died a couple of years back! What life they could have had! If only he had listened to her.
She stretches her hand for the red ruby perched on top of the apple tree. It seems to be leaning away from her searching hand as if repulsed by her touch. She gets closer to the tree, her weight beginning to rest on the solid trunk. The leaves rustle in the stillness, an unexpected caress on her cheek. She pauses. Silence surrounds her. A complete dead silence, so foreign to the countryside.
It’s nothing, she tells herself.
She takes a deep breath and raises herself on her tiptoes to reach the last fruit of the tree. This time, the apple seeks out her touch, nestling in the cup of her warm hand.
She stares at the ball of redness, her eyes blurring, distorting the shape until it stretches and drips. The hardness flows into liquid and she isn’t in the orchard anymore, and the solid shape in front of her is made of meat, bones, fleeting warmness, and fear. And it crumbles to the floor, while she holds the knife.