Inland

The road winds inland and climbs high above the sea, the moor swelling and folding into lumpy little hills. As the land rises and dries out, the peat and heather give way to grass, cropped short and neat as embroidery, studded with little flowers. Yellow-eyed sheep peer from between the clumps of bracken, which rise higher than my head. The fronds give off a sweet, milky scent, and their colour is vivid against the dark grass.

Every so often the bracken parts and a cleft in the hills shows me the sea, mottled with silver, and vast. It’s no longer just a backdrop but a thing in itself, dwarfing the land, stretching on and on to a horizon shadowed by low-trailing clouds.

The hills above me are capped again with heather, and dark. The sky hangs low over them. The day persists like this, dark, threatening rain, but the rain never falls.

I walk on.

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