The smells were different. And the sounds. So loud, so intense. The sudden fear paralyzed her.

She could see the silhouettes of the others, moving around unfazed. The short lady was enthusiastically gesturing. The man, holding one of his favorite brown bottles, was nodding. The youngsters were happy about something invisible.

For a long time she sat motionless on the roof of her house. Only her head would give a tiny twitch when a new wave of the sound rose up. 
Cicadas. The South knew them and loved them with a love that only a parent could feel for her odd child. But she was not from the South and had no desire to be. She jumped down and ran.

pitch-dark night
the lulling hum of our
old air conditioner

©Tzetzka Ilieva, 2016


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