Waiting. She had been told to wait, and so she would. Here, in full sight of the village, on the end of the ancient wall. Stocking tops on show, face pushed out of the embarrassing costume – a simple cross-strap behind her head meant she couldn’t retreat, turtle-like, into the shell, her face was to be available at all times. Her hands were caught up inside the egg.
Waiting. She was grateful that no one had walked by. How would she explain this? She’d been running lines through her head. Excuses. Jokes. Outlandish reasons for being sat on a wall dressed as an egg. A prank to delight local children, she thought. That sounded good. Not “I am being humiliated for disobedience”. A hot jab of shame and excitement punched through her core when she thought of this, and when she remembered that she was not to speak, to make no sound. She couldn’t explain why she was there even if she wanted to.
Waiting. She arched her back, partly to stretch her aching body and partly to press herself down on the uneven hardness of the wall. This was a mistake, she was immediately off-balance and almost fell. A few moments of comical-from-the-outside wobbling and she was stable again. Her heart thumped in her chest, blood pounded in her ears, she almost cried out but no.
Waiting. From behind her came the sound of footsteps. Light but not quick. Deliberate but not ominous. Him. She closed her eyes and fell.