In the distance, a silvery light spread over the sky illuminating the blue-grayish clouds.Drops of drizzle pattered on the ground like the quiet footsteps of an invisible spirit. The mother was bent over tying her shoes, her thick black hair budging lightly like some strands breaking loose from a gorgeous new dress. Her hands quivered as she let go of the shoelaces. Behind the window of the bungalow, covered with a layer of grime reminiscent of tracks of mud carved into the ground by weary feet on a country road, stood a tiny little girl, her ashen eyes glinting like black dots. Stepping away from the window, the child picked up a porcelain bowl and placed it gingerly on a hollow table. The boards of the table resonated as they received the bowl. Steam wafted out in curls and seemed to escape through the window, like the hand of a ghost, to brush the mother's shoulder with its heat. The mother felt it and made her way towards the door, spinning her hands in front of her much like paddles dipped in the warm water of a lazy summer afternoon.

They sat together at the table, the mother stirring her spoon in the bowl, the daughter watching her with her intense tiny black dot eyes. A few minutes later, the mother was comfortably stretched out on her bed, her arms bursting out of her to rise above the blanket and then sinking down again. As the daughter approached the door, she could almost follow the tick-tock motion of these restless appendages that, like the hands of an aging clock, eventually died down. The bottom plank of the door dragged across the floor as she opened it barely ajar. An aroma of lilacs, dew, and dampness burst in through the opening. It was as if her fingers were bathed in a salty tremulous current of seaweed and silt. Staring at her father, the child muttered: "Mom is sleeping. She needs quiet; she needs space. Come back in a few hours," and slammed the door. The moist salty air of dew and lilac was sucked out through the gap like the last drops of water through the drain of a bathtub. A metallic dryness invaded her nostrils. Looking at her mother, supine and sterile, she exhaled and closed her eyes.

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