The sunlight was brilliant. A warm summer's day with a crisp breeze that reminded one of a voyage at sea.
With Eliza tucked into her crib upstairs, everything was right in the world. Juniper strolled out of her airy designer house and crossed the pool deck out onto the grass and into her modest garden.
Her husband had 'Made Partner' not only 7 months ago and in that time it seemed as though their lifestyle had done a complete 180 from their modest little loft in London to a 6 bedroom Manor House just outside of DevonShire. William had mentioned getting out of the city now that things had changed... to continue working on that large family he always wanted.
As she knelt down between the cucumber rows, tapping her trowel free of mud on a large rock sitting beside her seeds, she marveled at how she herself had also completed quite a dramatic cycle. After the birth of Eliza, postpartum depression had managed to snag her for a few long weeks and everyone told her it was normal of course -being pregnant in a dreary, loud, hectic city... nobody having time to check up on her... Eliza being colicky... but after a time her condition worsened rather than improved.
She remembered hearing weeping in her bathroom.
Seeing a woman hanging in her clothes in her closet one night.
Walking down her stairs wearing a ball gown with a roll of duct tape in her hand, heading for her baby's crib.
When Will came home that night she told him to take Eliza away and get her help. After the treatments she quickly recovered.
Smiling to herself, feeling more alive than ever, she plunged her trowel into the loose soil vigorously, churning it gently.
As Juniper's mother dashed up the driveway and through her open front door she called out "Surprise, dear... just thought I'd swing by!"
Juniper's mum took the stairs two at a time up to see her granddaughter and smiled as she saw her plush teddy propped in the corner of the crib. She strode over, reached in and pulled back the blanket gently only to reveal a heaping pile of muddy soil.
She let out a choked scream as if someone had bludgeoned her in the throat.
Meanwhile, in the garden, Juniper stared in confusion at the tiny bloody hand, half severed by her trowel, sticking straight up out of her freshly dug hole.