meadow sweet

Meadow sweet memory by

If I had known then what I know now I would have finished my croissant breakfast and jumped off the Eiffel Tower.

Or into the Seine.

Under a Metro train perhaps.

I might even have walked out again with Fancy Man.

Anything but this.

Thick as old honey in a jar, his French accent sounds cloying now, congealing his words in my brain. I try to ignore his seemingly endless stream of inconsequential drivel. How can any man talk so much and say nothing worth listening to? On first meeting, with the help of the wine, he had been quite the irresistible temptation to dally. Damnation.

Outside the Audi, where darkness continues to fall unabated, all is still save the rhythmic rumble of traffic flashing by on the autoroutes du Soleil. The sound is hypnotic, sparking a distant but florid memory, a distraction from my predicament. Running my thoughts back over time and miles, to Primrose Meadow, south of the river, east of the pretty village I once called home. Cowslip, Buttercup and Oxeye primed with sweet nectar would imbue a golden glow to the wild, green verdancy. Through Bottom End, white water would be tumbling over the weir and the rocks, a resounding symphony of brass and woodwind. In the copse by Tadpole Pond the Dicentra spectabilis we planted for my fifth birthday would be exuberant with lilac heart-shaped blossoms. Across the rolling hillside, peppered with spring lambs, sweet flowers would be exuding their heady perfumes, diffusing far and wide on the breezes. How I longed to be home in my child-hood bed, soft and fluffy as sleeping within a puffy cloud, a place in which pain, real or imagined, could find no home. Fatigue hung heavy upon my shoulders, dulling not the pain but all hope as the dull monotone emanated unceasingly from my unwanted companion.

I stare at my reflection, not understanding why I am shredding my emotions when others are only too ready, able and willing to do so. My own delusions had persuaded me that my senses were razor-sharp, but still I was honey-trapped by this mercenary dullard with a great body, limited imagination and a loaded automatic.

As we raced along, always heading south, I imagined myself in a film, dreaming of kicking ten bells out of my captor to escape in a carriage of blooms and a speedboat over the Bosphorus. Another sham, filmed in Scotland, ignition for another memory of home.

No escape. This was real time, real life. Not that I was particularly keen to reach journey’s end, assuming that Jacques was there. Porridge for brains, oodles of money in our Riviera home and a greedy, possessive, insistent mean streak I had under-estimated.

The grass is greener in Primrose Meadow, outside of the marital prison.

The faint metallic rattle of handcuffs slipping over my slim wrists was inaudible over his chattering.

I permit myself once more to dream.

Beyond captivity, to Primrose Meadow.



Matthew Hisbent is a writing traveller and music obsessive who has appeared in Dwelling Literary and Pure Slush. When he is not walking the East Coast of Fife, watching seals, herons, swans and gulls around the many green clothed rock pools he will be on Corfu, jewel of the Ionian.



Photo from PxHere


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