They’re like gentle sweeping watercolour brushstrokes in teddy-bear orange. Looking so soft in the landscape – but close up, a thicket of thorns. The dusty, muted orange berries cling on even into late winter, slowly decaying in place.
The crows are kings and queens here. A whole coterie of nobles flap and caw and pose gingerly on the prickly battlements. Scraps of black languidly blown across the sky, then returning purposefully to sway top-heavily on the slender branches.
If I pick them now and try for a taste, it’s like taking a mouthful of frog spawn. The frosted fruit is jelly-like at best, else, a shrivelled empty skin. I’m like a vat of grapes ready for treading – bare feet stamping the fruit, juices oozing out through the drain holes, running luxuriously into waiting vessel.
The putrid orange juice drips eagerly down my chin, and drops not quite silently: split… split… onto my lap.
Licking my fingers clean, I emerge from the bushes with a sticky orange crotch.