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I Have Found It
Chapter 10: Part 2
With a shake of her head, as if she was breaking out of a trance, Eureka forced her arms back to her sides.
Unconsciously, they’d been moving again. One arm across her breasts, one hand between her legs…
A breeze caused goosebumps to form on Eureka’s skin, reminding her of her corporeality.
Rubbing her arms to distract herself from the urge to break out into a run, Eureka thought of what it would feel like when she climbed back into her clothes.
She imagined closing her hands around a candle, its heat and hot wax burning her skin, its light shrouded, leaving Eureka in darkness.
In the darkness, Eureka could see the light of eyes.
Enraptured eyes. Mortified eyes. Hungry eyes.
Opening her hands, the candle’s light spilled forth once more.
Like a gush of blood, Eureka thought, reminded of a video of childbirth she had seen as she was bathed in heat and clothed in light once more.
The candle in her hands her only light to see by, squinting to look into the darkness on all sides, Eureka thought of serpents.
She imagined a serpent at her feet, winding its wet, black body around and around her right leg, higher and higher, until it disappeared into the opening between her legs.
She felt fangs against her womb as, with a hiss, the serpent fought to free itself from inside her.
Setting the candle at her feet — an island of light in an ocean of darkness — Eureka lie on her back and, taking a deep breath, opened her legs.
Her scream echoed into the darkness.
A scream that was joined by a cry.
Panting, raising her upper body with her shoulders and hands, Eureka saw, between her legs, a baby girl. And in the girl’s hands, the limp, broken body of a serpent…
Snapping out of her daydream, Eureka realized that she had been standing still.
Looking down at her front, then turning her head to look at her backside, Eureka breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing that nothing had happened to her.
Looking around her, though…
Though the sun was high in the cloudless blue sky, the color seemed to have been drained from everything. There was a coldness to the world that had nothing to do with the breeze.
Looking into the enraptured, mortified, and hungry eyes of the people passing her by, Eureka suddenly remembered the phone number written on her arm.
“Can I use your phone, please?” she asked a woman pushing a stroller.
Ignoring the click of cameras in the distance, Eureka said: “Lyra? It’s Eureka…”
Ignoring the splinters, Eureka pressed herself against the trunk of the oak tree in the center of the park like she was trying to become one with it, hide inside it, as she waited.
Being the only naked person in the park, she didn’t have to wait long. Lyra and Lucy didn’t have trouble spotting her.
“Eureka!” Lucy called out as Lyra waved, the two of them coming towards her.
“Are you OK?” Lyra asked.
“I’m fine. Thanks. I just… I needed some company.”
Seeing Lyra’s and Lucy’s concerned looks: “Nothing bad happened.”
Without another word the three of them set off, Lyra and Lucy walking on either side of Eureka.
“I wish I could do what you’re doing,” Lyra said.
“It’s not what I thought it would be,” Eureka said, hurt clear in her voice.
“How come?” asked Lucy.
“I like being naked… and I always will. There were a lot of people who chose to see me. Really see me, you know? And that was awesome. But… it got to a point where it didn’t feel right. Not me being naked. The way some people were looking at me. That wasn’t right. That made me think I’ve got to get out of here.” Eureka sighed. “I have a habit of daydreaming. And, snapping out of my latest daydream, it’s a miracle that no one had tried to…” She grimaced.
“Oh,” said Lucy.
Lyra flashed a smile at Eureka. “You’re one of the strongest women I know.”
“I don’t feel strong. I know being naked in public wouldn’t be what I dream it is but, all things considered, I didn’t think it would be like this.”
“Like what?” Lyra asked.
Eureka looked around, catching the eye of more than one man.
“Some of these men are like serpents,” Eureka said, balling her hands into fists, her nails digging into her palms.
“Your goods are too good for them,” Lucy said simply.
Eureka burst out laughing. The tension in her, like a torch dropped down a well, gone in an instant.
Laughing is how the three women continued their journey to reunite Eureka with her clothes.
The end of Chapter 10: Part 2