“You’re not serious.”
“I think my facial expressions adequately portray seriousness.”
“But look at it, it’s so…”
He squinted at her. “Seriously?”
“Are you trying to break a record saying that word?”
“Very observant for someone basically petrified, if I may say.”
“You may not. Now, get me out of here.”
“Oh, for the sake of all that is lovely and wonderful, you’re being overly dramatic!”
“No, I am not,” she replied in such steady fury as if being propelled by Lucifer’s very trident.
“Alright, alright. Calm your wits down.”
“Oh, I plan to do precisely that. Have you any tranquilizers?”
“Good gracious, you’d think it death by disgrace awaiting you.”
“It is death, save by disgrace. It’s death that looks deep within your most intimate self and claws your spirit off, leaving you full of terror and at loss of breath,” her nostrils flared while she said so.
“Don’t you think your measurements of sense and feeling are a bit… You know, unorthodoxly proportioned?”
“So is your sense of incredulousness, I’d wager.”
By this point, she managed to pull herself and her companion a good twenty meters away. Hadn’t her companion suddenly halted, she would have gladly walked on further.
“Wait, wait. Where are we going again?” he said.
“Nowhere, merely walking about,” she replied in such a forced air of comfort that she would’ve lain right then and there to augment that sense of comfort she thought she held.
“Why don’t we go sit under that tree?” he told her, “we don’t want to walk all the way to the next city, now, do we?”
As they sat down under the willow tree, he kept eyeing her keenly, noticing how her fingers fidgeted, and how she couldn’t leave her ears in peace.
“If I may be so blunt—”
“You call it childhood trauma, the likes of you,” she cut him off, “I call it too many lost opportunities of reconciliation.”
“You speak as if they held any consciousness.”
“Don’t they? Anything capable of staring right into your soul, of turning your blood cold, isn’t it conscious? Oughtn’t you to fear it?”
“You must excuse me; I don’t harbor any irrational fears. No offense intended.”
“How come it’s perfectly alright to fear the dark or spiders? Why is it absolutely ridiculous for me to fear these wretched things?”
“If I do have an answer, which I don’t, I wouldn’t venture to disclose it and have you analyze it until you’ve turned us both deaf. I still want to have a pleasant afternoon, mind you.”
“Yes. Yes, I suppose you’re right.”
“I’m sorry, but, earlier, you said they were ‘evil’. You don’t mean evil as in satanic and ungodly, surely?”
“Oh, but I do mean so!” her intonation started to board on the hysterical, “I very much do. The damned things -excuse my language- but they are! They’re the very spawn of Satan which Hades itself couldn’t handle. Witches and warlocks swear by them, and when we die, they will trot on our graves, I tell you. If Beelzebub bred ancestry, you can very well be sure that they are this ancestry. They saunter with such ease because they know, oh, they do– they know they will be our demise. I fear them? I surely do. Because if you’re not sensible then I am. And I intend to keep my not-so-calm- at-the-moment wits about me, thank you very much.”
She finished her fervent rant with a flush of burgundy coloring her face. He, on the other hand, was sat staring at her, shocked at the amount of genuine fear that racked her body and soul. All he managed to utter was “cats? Seriously? Cats?”
With the slightest of glances she replied “I’m parched. Let’s walk back home.” She had no intention of bringing out the self-embarrassment brigade once more.