The Fractal Lawn
Dolores sloped into the deck chair under the pavilion’s awning and welcomed the sun. She lay, slim frame sickle curved, gently but firmly held by the chair’s rough blue and white stripes.
Already a flaw marred her pleasure. Beneath the chair’s left runner a fissure ran through the concrete slab supporting the pavilion. Started perhaps by shoddy construction, or, Dolores thought briefly, the beginning of a global subsidence that would end in total collapse. Despite her efforts to remain inert, the chair rocked infuriatingly over the telltale crack. To the ants, busy in it’s dark and inviting recesses, it offered opportunity; security in a hostile world.
Dolores stretched, feeling her skin reach greedily for the sun, absorbing it, consuming ray after ray; longing for more. As the arid soil around the edge of the lawn longed for rain, fresh and invigorating, the life-giver. Rain that would flood the ants’ nest, frenzied beneath the fissure, eroding still further the pavilion’s vanishing foundations. A hard rain.
Across the tangled rooftops, overlooked from the pavilion in Dolores’ garden, grey and richly flecked with lichen, unsteady in the heat, a church clock struck twice. Echoes harried amongst the chimney stacks; it was two o’clock and Time vanished with the last notes of the chime; she’d half an hour, the family was due at two thirty. A slight movement of the deck chair caused it to rock over the crack. Ants, in twos and threes at first, but then in greater numbers, emerged in turmoil carrying impossibly large flecks of soil, monoliths of gravel. Dolores abandoned herself to the sun, but before closing her eyes, she stared at the lawn, which lay, green and puzzling in front of the pavilion.