It was a perfect summer’s afternoon. The sunlight cast a golden glow over the ripening wheat fields with only the occasional poppy to distract the eye. Victoria’s discarded parasol leant nonchalantly against the rough bark of the tree, rendered redundant by the swaying canopy of leaves. She leaned back against the red velvet cushions and closed her eyes. Somewhere a peewit called to its mate. Victoria’s head was spinning deliciously and her body felt as if it belonged to someone else. Perhaps she’d been wrong to send Mark for another bottle but they had nothing to rush home for. Afternoon would bleed into evening.
The motion in her head was starting to make her feel a little sick and she opened her eyes, trying to focus on the branches above her. Maybe they could climb the tree later, when Mark got back. She peered through the leaves to the blue sky above but there was something blocking her view. She squinted and her brow wrinkled as she tried to make it out. Its shape changed as it twisted slowly in the gentle breeze. It was only then that she saw the boots of the hanging man. His laces were untied.