Jollian's Hill

Before and below you runs the long slope of grass—Jollian Fri-Thomroy's hill, down which he tumbled from his partner's betrayal. You've planned two things to do here but the dream quality of your imagination prevented you from realizing the specific order: to shout that shepherd's cry you learned in some foreign place, the one no one has ever complemented you on, and to dive headlong down the hill, down through the sea of soft stems. From over your shoulder, your friend wonders if there are any rocks hidden in there. Yesterday—when you met at the airport—because you were a little embarrassed, you told your friend that you didn't think it was necessary to call very often, because good friends know to be on good terms when they meet and can do the talking when that happens. Your friend didn't engage, but, rather, expressed sincere apprehension about being able to find a place that rented bicycles. In the end, you didn't have very much trouble finding a place. Your friend asks if you're going to give your shout now and you nod, solemnly, and perform it resoundingly. This leaves the tumble, you say, and before your friend responds, you've hurled yourself off the summit. Your eyes shut, instinctively, and it takes you the better part of the fall to train yourself to keep them wide open—just like Jollian—as you spin through the verdure. At the bottom, you keep still, recovering, and after some time your friend yells down to ask if you think those sheep are approaching. Your friend expressed concern about the sheep before, that maybe your shepherd's call would draw them to you: wouldn't that be punishable, like cattle rustling? You're buried in grass, but you fight your way to your feet and survey the fields around you. The sheep are coming! your friend cries and you see them, running towards you in a white mass. You turn to wade a retreat up the hill, screaming euphorically. Above, your friend is propping your bicycle upright for you and cheerfully screaming along.

[A Hill Sketch]

Sketch by Caniri Saar