It was strange to have this sense of wilderness with a house so close by, and also to have these vanishing steps which seemed so purposely to lead into it.
As we reached the top, the steps reappeared. There were just five this time: uneven, cracked and overgrown with moss. We climbed them and found ourselves at an opening. The area was an oval shape, and was surrounded by an iron fence and trees. It felt sheltered. Inside, the grass had been kept. There was a smaller oval shaped section in the centre of the lawn. Here the grass was even shorter, with a narrow, flattened path coming out of either end. I fancied that it represented a womb with the fallopian tubes. I wondered how this had occurred. In the middle, I came to a single black feather. It was glossy and long, with a pointed quill at the end. Just after the feather, two patches of ground were strewn with tufts of fur. I could not tell if it was from the pelt of an animal, or if it came from the seed head of a plant. I bent down to touch it, and discovered it was covered in dew. It looked like it could have come from a malting cat. Perhaps these were the remnants of a vicious tussle between a bird and an animal. I could not be sure.
A white cougar that looked like an alpine wolf appeared. It tried to attack. I was looking down into its dark black and red mouth and pulling its jaws apart. Eventually I heard the crack of bone. That’s how I killed it: by ripping its jaws off.
The pheasant appeared in the garden by some bushes. It only had one eye and no beak. There was a black hole where the beak was. Rubbery bits of skin were hanging off. It looked a bit like latex – like a gas mask without a filter. The missing eye was the same. The other eye was a large glassy oval, fully dilated and black brown.