The Festival.


The  dirty and disheveled yellow VW camper van made its way toward the inviting, orange and blue horizon. It had seen better days for sure. But it had served them well, with many years of trusted service. This was to be their last festival, they could not be hippies forever. Time had come to pack it all in.
                        Even their grandchildren were getting embarrassed and ashamed by them. What about if they had meet their own grandparents, horror of horrors, attending the same music festival. Livid just about covered her feelings. The jutting jaw, her back turned against him. Thankfully the shouting had stopped,the huffed loud breathing, also at a much lower volume now. Like a child, she must had exhausted herself, he concluded. They hadn’t spoken for hours. He silently driving the van, still wearing that silly white straw hat, nearly as old as he was, covering his longish white hair. The black waistcoat, the cheese cloth shirt, and the grandfather glasses, no other words for them. The old denim jeans. Add to that the beads, a permanent fixture around his neck. Fitting perfectly the image of an aging hippy.
           She steadfastly refusing to even look at him. Instead she choose to look out the passenger window, out onto the wide open green fields. The wide evening sky so warm, so inviting. The few large trees decorating the open landscape. She wrapped herself in her favorite red Indian blanket. Took the moccasins off her feet, and held her knees close to her chest.
   Not Buddhism nor meditation, massage, reiki you name it, nothing was working to cool her ardour. How dare he suggest to her, that their time on the road was to come to an and. All the wonderful cities, countries they had visited. The friends they made. All that was to come to an end. Their time as travellers was to come to an end. That the time had come to conform, to settle down. To her this was the deepest form of betrayal. Treachery of the highest order, from her soul mate. She didn’t even want to contemplate how much she had sacrificed for him throughout the years. Give it all up, to live an ordinary life. This to her was a normal life. This to her was proper living. She held her knees tightly against her chest, wishing hard for sleep. At least that would offer some form of escape from this situation. But sleep was not forthcoming. She knew from many years experience, that once he made his mind up, over an issue. That was it. There would be no changing it.

Her mind wandered back to when they first met all those years ago. At her first ever festival, how she was so taken with the tall, slim long haired man, with the denim waistcoat, and mischievous grin, who had offered her shelter in the rain. How she so happy to have found a genuine soul mate, to travel through this life together. But now….her body held tight, the anger like a fire, running round her body looking for an escape. She had always found it hard to express her feelings to others. Preferring instead to let the feelings build up, and fester within her body and soul. It was the way she had learned as a child, that what she felt amounted to little or no interest to others. Because nobody cared. The seething angry energy, having now reached its zenith, searched for an escape. Propelled by the  red hot energy racing around her body, screaming, she kicked at the passenger window, in a vain attempt to break the glass. But her small feet just bounced off the toughened surface. She quickly turned to the dashboard, where he had left his pipe, tobacco and old small broken rusty knife. He saw her plan, and took one hand from the steering wheel, and wrestled her for the knife. But her two hands, and anger were stronger than he. Grabbing the knife, she ran it along the inside of her left arm, from the fold of her wrist towards the crock of the elbow, and pushed it hard into her soft skin. It took much pressure to break her skin. Her face red, and perspiring slightly, her mouth open showing her clenched perfectly formed teeth, her breathing heavy and fast. At last the skin broke and the rusty knife entered. The veins, and cartilage easily giving way to the pressure. She ran the knife repeatedly along the same track.
                     As the knife ran, deep and hard, along her soft tissues, the blood flowed. Her breathing became soft. Her jaw loosened. Her shoulders eased and released the tension they held. It was always the way for her, the buildup of anger and frustration,the self harm, then the physical release of the tension. A way to sooth her soul,and ease her mind. Always worked. Sleep coming to her easily now, as she released her grip on the rusty knife which fell to the floor.
     He watched her. Slowly bringing the camper van to a stop. It was the noise first, the crashing of metal upon metal, then the shattered glass. The steering wheel being pushed hard against his chest, making it difficult to breathe. The sensation of going backwards at speed as the large truck struggled to stop. With the dirty yellow VW camper van, now a tangled mess of metal, and on it’s side. Through the shattered glass, she looked again at the orange and blue sky. In the silence, it was so warm, and inviting……

Written in response to a prompt seen here :


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