She was happy.
She thought to herself as she watched the sun open slats of warm, downy, white-gold light into the dim, early morning room.
She was happy. But the happiness had soggy edges as if it had been left out for too long. She picked it up, tentatively, carefully, in case it crumbled in her hand but she needn’t have worried. Staleness has a habit of looking after its own.
She looked at it for a while, this way and that.
Then, very slowly, she licked it. Once, softly like cat; then a second time, a little more roughly, with a rasping cow’s tongue. She could taste nothing. She licked again, then again, then again and again and again, the tempo picking up with her desperation at wanting to taste something, anything. And as she licked, it began to grow smaller. Then smaller still till before long, there was nothing left in her hand.
Or on her tongue. Just a faint soreness and ache from the licking, but no taste at all.
She sat, watching the slats of warm, downy white-gold.