She held it to the light. No ferns or bits of leaves. No insects. Nothing trapped inside, the stone was clear as glass, and the color of dark wine.

Without shoes, you won’t get far in the snow

It started as a rumbling sound that would rise and break, and then the words were spoken into her nerves, as if they all jumped out of the same plane, each one with its own parachute.

They were words that bit, words that had a sting. Blood amber was the antidote. Its red warmth held her in like swaddling clothes, and smoothed away the feeling she might burst out of her skin.

There was golden amber of course. Green amber, which was an absinthe shade of green, and blue amber.

Blue amber was the color of the sky in an old movie, where cowboys sing to girls who sit on fences. Curacao blue. A blue that tastes of coconut and pineapple.

It left her cold. It seemed insincere. A salesman who slaps you on the back, a man of God with money

Someone who says “I love you”.

“I love you” was a crime scene photo, a thin blanket that scratched. A boyfriend with a temper when he drinks.

“I love you” was a summer day, a girl in blood on a summer lawn.

She looked at the stone in her hand. Closed her eyes and kissed it.

The world was darker in the light.

You won’t get far without shoes.

 

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