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Picnic Series: Work

The Picnic

Two friends go on a picnic in the middle of the night, it's curfew and they break it to spend the night completely uninterrupted by strangers. It's a harvest moon, and they've spent the last week collecting what they need.

Accompanying them is their dog, who follows them like a shadow across the damp lawn . The grass extends out in front of them; first in luminous green and then imperceptibly into blackness.

Following the light of their phone they pad out silently into the centre of a vast Garden lawn. 

The gingham blanket is tossed over the shoulder of the first figure as they head into the darkness. They find a spot in a patch of moonlight and lay the blanket on the ground, nearby a stream trickles against a stirring of leaves. 

They take the first crumpled mushrooms out of their packet, They look like depressed and confused characters , crumpled into the bag , and Chew them up.

The dog looks on unknowingly

Obviously he can't participate

But his eyes are already dilating and sweating with a new purpose .The way that all animals do when they are out at night .

If he could find a toad to chew and foam at the mouth he would. He might do later. 

They lie back waiting for the picnic blanket to become an irresistible landscape, and  the red tartan to become a buzzing army of red ants.

But that will come

For now they're just enjoying how quiet it is, it's funny, Breaking the rules.

They hear a shout in the darkness echo from far off; somebody having a joke outside across the valley.

A white fluffy cat, one green eye and one blue, territorially stalks his neighbourhood. The effect is broken somewhat by the fact he is completely out of place and uncamouflaged. He's forgotten that he looks like he should be sat on someone's lap. Or maybe he never knew that, probably doesn't give a shit about what cat breeders have planned for him. 

“Sad people. Fingers up to them. We are Curfew breakers. Living on the edge.”

They toss insults to the Banbury cat breeding community into the slowing dissolving dusk.

Suddenly the White patches that their eyes throw out into the darkness are morphing into shapes, melding with the cat .Too many to describe or remember : past pathways , people .

things that lived here before or maybe things that will.

The blanket is humming like background music in an old kids programme

Wonky. “We're all children. We're all just children.” It whispers into their mushroom cap  ears.

Now, Brimming with moonlight, the stream is trickling over and round and through and collecting in the basin of their eyelids. Brimming with good emotion. 

“ everything is so beautiful I want to laugh and cry.”

“ Good good. It's so good to have a this experience with you”

“It's so good to have this experience with you too.”

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