Eve devoured the apple; inelegantly chomping her way through stems, pips and core, juice dripping at the corners of her mouth.
She winced as the sour notes of the Granny Smith hit her, wriggling her nose, closing her eyes.
Hunger abated, she stood in the middle of the unfurnished apartment in the City looking at the shambles spread before her wondering how she got there. It was so far removed from the middle class suburban home she shared with Judas for more than 5 years.
She felt like a stranger amidst the frenzy; finding the buzz of the city too much.
"What was I thinking?"
Her bare feet felt good against the old hardwood floorboards. She wrinkled her toes into tiny grooves and it resurfaced covered in dust.
Mr Gabriel, her agent, had been very persuasive: "It's going to take lots of time and elbow grease to knock the old dame into shape," he said showing her around the apartment.
"Luckily you signed for the full 6 months," he smiled.
"Luckily I love old things," she answered easily persuaded; not quite sure if she'd be there for that long.
Boxes were scattered throughout the apartment, her things spilling out in places as she grabbed and poked inside looking: for this, finding that.
She wondered where she would fall asleep; wondered if she would be able to in the strange, empty apartment; wondered if she would ever again get an easy night's rest following his betrayal.
Like a snake she wound her way through the living room to the sash windows drawn by the light streaming in through white muslin curtains.She opened the window and reached out touching the branches of the tree rising to greet her. Breathing deeply, the scent of pine wafting on the warm air, she sighed with satisfaction: "Ah, home!"
She eyed the maze of boxes and groaned. The box marked ME caught her eye and she darted over, tearing off the "FRAGILE" sticker and stuck it on her jeans.
"There you are!" she said to her CANON, lovingly stroking the length of the lens, "time to make memories." She popped off the lens cap and slipped it into the back pocket of her faded jeans, the strap getting caught on her ponytail as she looped it around her neck.
She loved the feel of the heaviness around her neck; she cradled the camera in her hand, her thumb seeking the on-button.
The bedroom was going to be her first stop.
Since she first spotted the great old armoire on viewing the apartment, she had wanted to shoot the elaborate details of the antique piece of furniture.
"The armoire stays," mr Gabriel had explained, "it comes with the apartment as it is too heavy to move." He studied her intently to see if she would be the next one.
She nodded, willingly agreed.
Mesmerised she had made her way to it, reaching out. It felt cold to the touch.
He had chosen well.
The heavy bedroom door creaked as she pushed it open, for a second it refused to budge from it's frame, as if it was afraid to reveal the secrets it held inside.
Flicking the light switch, she was hypnotised by the shadows playing on the dark surfaces of the piece dominating the room. She raised up on the balls of her feet, lengthening her body, she cast her hands overhead and curved her body into a perfect arch. The camera felt heavy on her ribs. On tiptoes she wound her way to the corner claimed by the curves and twists of the majestic wood. She felt small, her toes touching the solid foot carved to perfection.
Closing her eyes, Eve ran her fingers along the doors. It felt warm. She could swear that she heard singing as she ran her fingertips over the wood, smooth then rough in places.
She drew back her hand.
The singing ceased.
Closing her eyes, she cocked her head as she placed both hands on hard wood.
Fingertips trailing bold S's and singing ensued.
Eve started humming in unison, "hm hm hm....hm hm hm..."
The doors gave way under her hands and opened inward: "Ah!" she exclaimed in delight.
Darkness assaulted her and she couldn't make out the inside. Her breath quickened and she continued to hum louder still, the echo carrying as if she was standing on the edge of a cliff. She set off the flash and the sudden burst of light jarred her. She leaned in trying to feel the backing, but couldn't reach it.
On her hands and knees she climbed in and leaned even further back, stretching her arms in front of her like an arrow.
Bur still she couldn't find the back.
Crawling forward, her camera swinging around her neck, she went further in... 1metre and beyond...
Eve heard the doors whooshing shut behind her.
She turned round panic momentarily setting in, but the siren's song spurred her on.
The hardness beneath her hands and feet gave way to a soft moistness, it smelt of moss and earth. Intrigued she let off her flash. Sitting on her haunches, she looked at the scene before her and gasped.
The singing seized and a bird in the most brilliant shades of blue tweeted:
"Find your feet, Eve!"
Her mouth agape she rose, unsure but filled with wonder.
"Find your voice, Eve!" Blue tweeted.
"Where... am... I?" Eve stammered.
"You are home. For now!"
She shook her head in disbelief.
"Go in and find Peace," Blue gestured towards the tiny hut filled with golden rays.
She walked across the bridge and turned around, Blue was still watching, urging her forward.
Her feet hit stone, rough and warm. The heat spread up through her body. She reached for the door knob, turned the handle and stepped inside.
She was enveloped by a wave of gold that held the spirit of a 1000 hearts broken, now healed.
The energy surged through her lifting her spirits.
It was her turn.
It was going to take time and a lot of elbow grease to knock this one back into shape.
Luckily they had her for 6 months.
Her heart sang; and joining with theirs, it sent the song to it's crescendo.