Before the collecting, before the potted trees and the gun, Magil enjoyed macaroni necklaces and making films about her life in the forest.
Fresh reds were best, like when the newtles were squishy and soft and pulsing. Then she would dye them blue and careen as they eased into an earthen purple.
Lay them out and name them. You are my friends and I love you and you and you and you in your yellows. Fascinated by the detail she would watch them dry with splotches until an evenness in pigment declared them ready for adornment.
Red, blue, yellow, green, magenta, teal and oh the browns. Magil licked the end of a rotting thread and shoved him through each macaroni, looping a long strand of pasta around her neck she looked into a foggy mirror.
So much ugliness in that mirror
But not you my loveys. You sing. You have so much heart and glory.
Magil shovelled the necklaces into 3 jars- one pickle, one jam and one peanut butter and plastic, lid them and left them to die.
Magil looked into the mirror, pulled off her dark green sweater and cried. She touched her neck carefully noting where each color had been before. Her body was dirty there and when she rubbed, mushy tan skin rolled onto her fingers. Rubbing long enough, the red appeared where it once was, then a purple, then an even deeper red.