an adaptation of the old Chinese idiom
Thirteen metres high, five metres across, no corners, or anything that could connect her to the outside world except a full moon shaped hole where the roof was supposed to be.
This was Claire’s sanctuary.
She woke to the sun lavishing her with warm kisses, and fell asleep to the wind singing lullabies in her ear. If the sky began to cry, her tears never seemed to fall into her deep hole. If the sun seared the soil in anger, his hot claws never seemed to reach her pit.
For the most part, Claire was left to her own devices—which, given that she never left her little hole, were scarcely abundant. There was daydreaming, then there was stargazing, and of course there was sunbathing—not that the sunbathing ever improved her pale complexion. Besides her pallor, she was (contrary to popular expectations) quite content with her lot in life—and more so with the hole in which she lived in.
The only time her contentment was ever up for discussion was the only day of the year she ever had a visitor over—but her visitor never came in, mind you. Robin was not very tall, and would most likely tumble to the bottom and never ever get back out if she did try to get in… Not that she ever wanted to, anyway. Instead, Robin poked her head into the hole, and had a long chat with Claire.
“This year, the gardeners planted rose bushes,” she said to Claire. “Oh, how I wish you’d come up to see them.”
“Come up?!” Claire gasped. “But-but there are people there! And snakes and birds! No, Robin, I’d very much prefer to stay in here where it’s safe.”
“But the rose bushes, Claire,” Robin said with a dreamy sigh. “They’re beautiful—all red under the sun.”
“Never you mind that,” Claire said, sticking her nose up. “I, too, have seen the sun’s beauty as it rises. And I’ve seen the full moon in all her glory. Frankly, I doubt I’m missing out on very much. I do believe you should have your own little hole to find safety in.
“And give up the vast horizon?” Robin shook her head. “Not for the world.”
“Horizon? The sky is round, with edges, you see, Robin,” she clucked at her friend. “How distorted the upper world has made you. Vast skies? Bah! It’s such a queer thing! Preposterous! Everyone knows there’s no such thing. The sky is shaped just like the moon—completely circular.”
“Oh, yes,” Robin said, rolling her eyes. “Everyone knows that.”
And Claire was quite confident in her own little hole, thank you very much. So Robin said goodbye, and watched the roses stretch their petals towards the sky as night fell wondering as she got into her car how anyone could think of full moon shaped skies and remain contented with their life.