The mother, completely transparent, walked in the meadow and as she walked grasses pushed up through the soil. With a gaze here and there, she pulled up trees, pines and willows, and maples. The branches fanned out and burst into vibrant colours all across the spectrum. She could not see it, only sense it. She pulled the sun down into the leaves and put the air into motion. She bent down and pushed her hands into the soil, deep, up to her elbows, and pulled out, one by one, mice, rabbits, foxes, deer. She pressed her hands onto the ground and the grasses shook and shivered and then worms and insects emerged, crawling along. Then she cupped some of the insects in her hands, multiplied them and gave them wings. Bees and mosquitoes and wasps and flying ants and butterflies and moths fluttered away in a cloud of noise and colour.
Then her sight returned. The darkness receded away, filled by summer light, in a gradually increasing circle that followed her as she walked. She continued to work, and added birds that filled the gentle air with their pleasant sounds. And she walked and worked and walked and worked until she came upon a house.
“That should not be there.” It had been a long time since houses, life had been erased and rebuilt many times since houses existed. She walked around its perimeter, looking at its glass and stone and wood and tiles.
“That should not be there.” And she noticed no door. The deer and the foxes joined her in her perplexity, though they did not know she was there. All they could smell was a humid sweetness that calmed them, and even so, the house was unsettling.
“That should not be there.” She walked up to the wall of wood and stone and placed her hand on it. It was warm in the sunlight. She pushed inward, but could not budge it and she could not move into it.
“That should not be there.” She rubbed her hands together in friction until her hands were aflame and threw the fire at the house. The flames bounced down to the ground and suddenly the grass all around the house was ablaze. The deer and the foxes bounded back into the meadow in fright. When the flames died down, the house was unharmed.
“That, SHOULD not be there.” She pressed her hands once more against the wood of the wall and grew insects but they could not bite into the wood and just fell into a heap on the carbon scorched grass.
She was silent. Then she grew herself taller to look in through the windows. It looked as a house should look, when houses existed. With rooms and furniture and straight lines. There was no one inside.
She grew taller and taller and taller until the house was small and she could have crushed it with her feet. Instead she bent down and plucked it from the earth. She held it in her hand and pondered it again. Then she put the house in her mouth and swallowed it whole. It too became transparent. It did not sit right inside her and she felt ill. She sat on the ground with a thunderous thud that scared all the birds into silence and flight. She clutched at her abdomen and then laid back on the grass and grew smaller and smaller and smaller until she was completely covered by the grass. The house inside her shrunk too. Away from the sunlight she started to feel a bit better and she knew the house was dissolving.
A mouse snuffled through the grass and came up next to her. She touched its head and gave it knowledge of herself.
“Do you think I should grow houses?” she asked the mouse.
The mouse examined her face but did not reply.
“Who will live in the houses?” she asked. “Will it be the foxes and the deer? Will they make their beds and bake bread?”
The mouse again was silent to her questions, its heart fluttering in confusion.
“I cannot let people live in the houses. I have forbidden myself from growing people. But it has been a long while, and I have wanted someone to talk to.”
She looked out the mouse again and thought for a while to herself.
“Perhaps I will let you and your kind live in the houses, but not as you did before. But as the people did. Would you like that?”
The mouse, transfixed, had nothing to say.
“I think I will do that, and the deer and the foxes shall have houses too.”
And then, after feeling much better from her rest, she got up, and grew her size and then grew houses for the mice and the foxes and the deer. And then she pressed her hands to each of their heads in turn and gave her knowledge of herself, and knowledge of how to live in houses, and knowledge of how to speak to each other in her language. And then she looked at the birds and built them houses in the trees.
And the mice and the foxes and the deer and the birds lived full lives and baked bread and made up their beds and chatted to one another. They had children and jobs and eventually mortgages, but their progress was slow. The mother watched and watched and then finally fell asleep and the world grew dark and the mice and the foxes and the deer and the birds slipped into the soil again and then the houses collapsed and then the world was erased. And when she awoke, the mother began her work again.