In the countryside of England, near one specific river, near one specific forest, there was a cave. The cave itself is dark and empty. The entrance of it is made out of dirt, the sort of dirt that makes you feel strange and uncomfortable when you touch it. The formation of dirt almost looks as some sort of architectural structure, as if the cave itself was made by men long ago. If you decide to walk into it, past the entrance, it will get darker and darker, but at the same time, the cave will awake your curiousness, and this will lead you to go on, further and further.
A few kilometres away, inside of the forest, and by the river, a grand, grand house was situated. The house was grand, firstly because of its size, but also due to all of its characteristics; the solid brick walls, the black distinct roof and the fences around the house, which sort of created a little garden. Outside the fences, a few metres away there was an outhouse. Inside was a young woman named Sarah. Her mother had committed suicide when she was only six years old, and her father died of tuberculoses nine years later.
After the death of her father, Sarah had sought a job, first in Glasgow where she originally lived, but after some months of bad luck, she took the courage to continue her job seeking elsewhere. She travelled throughout the country, from village to village, from house to house. At last she found this place and pretty quick got hired as a maid. The payment wasn’t great, and neither were the people she worked for. “The landlord”, as he was called, wore cold and formal clothes, and treated the people around him, in the same manner. He owned much land, and infact that was all he ever got money from. Sarah despised him and tried to avoid him as much as she could, but when ever their paths unfortunately would cross, she bowed before him and said “God day sir”. She said these words almost in the same tone all the time, in a polite, yet indifferent manner.
Inside the outhouse, Sarah was sitting. She stroked through her long, blond hair, as she looked into her reflection from the mirror in front of her. There wasn’t a smile on her face as she did this, her mouth and her lips were lying in a straight position, and together they created nothing but one single straight line. It had been a while since they created anything else. “Sarah! Sarah!” the landlord’s wife, yelled from outside. Sarah took one last look at herself and then replied: “I’m coming, I’m coming”. She gathered her hair into a ponytail, found a coat, and took on a pair of shoes.
Inside the grand house, the mansion, the landlord sat in his living room, with a pipe in his mouth. As Sarah approached the living room, he changed the direction of his eyes. He now looked at her. “So, Sarah, you do know dinner has to be ready in an hour do you?” “Yes, that I know”, she replied. “Well, then you ought to get on with it. Remember, it’s chicken on Wednesday.” Sarah gave him a slight nod, waited a second and then walked out of the living room. She couldn’t fit in the usual politenesness when she talked to him, she was too tired today.
60 minutes later the sweet carrots were all done cooking, the chicken was well made and the gravy was nearly finished. She took off her apron, and in a repetitive fashion, she started placing the different dishes on one giant plate. She carried the plate with her two hands, and slowly walked towards the dinning room. In the room’s walls you could find many paintings; these paintings varied somewhat in content, but they all had one thing in a common, they pictured hunters. White, male hunters. There was particularly one painting that shone through. A tall, big man holding a riffle in his hands, with the riffle pointing at a dead bear on the ground. The bear laid there, big, fat and brown with its tongue out of its mouth. The tall, big man was standing a few meters away from it, and although it was a concentrated look he exhibited, you could nearly spot a smile that was planted on his face. A smile of triumph.
As Sarah approached the dinner table, the landlord’s wife bent her neck a bit, turning her eyes on Sarah. The wife looked at her with a small notion of contempt, and then said, “is it just me Sarah, or have you been growing in size? Back a few months ago, you were thin like a straw, but now all of a sudden you’re round as a ball.” Sarah, a bit surprised by such a comment, took her time to answer. “Well... you know when you grow up in such a poor family as I did, and then suddenly come to place like this, a place with food, water and shelter, I suppose it’s only natural to grow as fat as I have.” The landlord’s wife replied: “Ok then… forget about it.” “But anyway, Charles”, she spoke to her husband, “When do you think Jack is returning? I hear he’s doing well at Oxford.” “Yes, of course he’s doing well.” The landlord replied, as if to imply that he wanted no more conversation. “I hope he’s visiting us soon”, the wife continued. “It’s been nine months since he has last been here!”
Sarah’s eyes turned empty. “I will leave you two to your dinner, is that ok?” Sarah asked. The wife nodded indifferently. “I’m not needed more for tonight, am I?” The wife shook her head.
Sarah gently walked out of the dinning room, then out of the house. But when she came outdoors into the wilderness, she ran. She jumped over the fence, and with tears in her eyes she continued running. Where to, she didn’t know, she didn’t care. Finally, after a couple of minutes, she stopped running, and simply decided to sit down on a bush. The bush was green and big, and in the second Sarah let her body fell down onto it, the bush was crushed, and much of it was destroyed. As she sat there, her thoughts wandered.
First there was some noise from outside. This noise had woken her up. As she lied in bed Sarah slowly lifted her head upwards. She moved her eyes to the window. Outside there could be seen a shadow. The shadow was big and dark, and it moved closer to the window. Sarah was shocked. A few seconds later the shadow was gone, but a noise was heard from the door. Sarah gazed at the door, with terrified eyes. It moved. The door moved. Suddenly the door was completely open, and the shadow came inside… It all happened so fast, so very fast.
Sarah slowly lifted herself upwards and started walking back to the outhouse.
The evening was cold and rainy, the rain whipped her face. Eventually she got back to the outhouse, but she knew that the struggle she now had experienced, would be no greater than the struggle that was to come. She lied down in bed, kicked off here shoes and closed her eyes.
The night became a night of blood, sweat and tears, and the birth itself lasted nearly six hours. The little baby slept in Sarah’s arms that night. That one night.
The next morning, before dusk, it was Sarah’s duty to go the cave. The cave in the countryside of England. The cave near one specific river, the cave near one specific forest. With the unnamed baby over her shoulder, she sneaked out. The weather was nicer than yesterday.
The cave was only a few kilometres away, it took long to walk; there was much to sacrifice. A while after, the cave was within eyesight, it was up on a hill. Sarah, with the baby, climbed up the hill, step by step, inch by inch.
Soon they stood by the entrance of the cave, Sarah gazing into it, and the baby with closed eyes and a thumb in its mouth. 30 seconds later they went inside the cave. They stayed there for at least seven minutes, until Sarah finally came out.
She walked home in a faster pace, now that the physical weight on her shoulders had been lightened. But mentally the weight had increased and so it would continue to do for the rest of Sarah’s life.