Archive for April 2008

wake-up

April 26, 2008

The warmth of the sunbeam woke him. It smothered. It felt like a blanket on his face. He opened his eyes and regretted it, squinting, flinching, he tried to block the light with his forearm. A cushion fell from the couch. He stopped and watched the dust float in the blanket of light. A few deep breaths and then he wiggled his fingers and toes, checking they were still there. His eyes closed again. The pillow took his head back and he feigned sleep. It didn’t last.

He rolled to his side and stared at the coffee table.

Three empty bottles of red wine, two white, a half-full bottle of Bacardi and an empty bottle of generic vodka littered the table.

Too many glasses to count, all grubby.

He rubbed his face, but couldn’t feel it. His lips dried shut. He stared again at the suspended dust. His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.

The tv behind the coffee table played mute cartoons. In front of it lay a body using a coat as a blanket.

He stared then at the floor. The carpet may have been sky blue some time, long before. Every shade of stain in every shape. Jaundiced walls. He squinted again and looked up at the window.

He didn’t know where he was.

lochside

April 23, 2008

The water lapped the rocks with a murmur. Calming, whispering; an eternal conversation that all could hear, but none understand.

She skipped a stone across the gentle waves. It hopped four times then skidded along the surface before sinking beneath. Her fingers snapped and she faked a pout.

‘I can do better you know.’

‘I know.’

The pout turned to a smile and her feet sank a bit in the sand as she looked for another skimmer. Pebbles and stones clattered as she tossed them aside, looking for that perfect smoothness.

‘I said I know. You don’t have to prove your skill to me.’

He threw a round stone, not bothering to skip. It hit the water with a satisfying plunk, echoing over the quiet conversation between the water and the rocks.

‘I know you know. And I don’t have to prove anything to you.’

He looked across the loch. The sunny haze cast a pastel filter over the mountains in the distance. He squinted, even though his sunglasses hung loose from his collar.

‘Perfect.’

She held a smooth stone up to him, grinning from ear to ear. She held it like a talisman.

He lost count of how many times it skipped. Seven or eight – somewhere around that. The sun fell behind a cloud and the hairs on his arms stood up in the breeze.

‘I can do even better.’

‘I know.’

He watched as a sailboat tacked on the opposite shore, almost indistinguishable from the wings of the gulls diving around him.

She grabbed his hand hers and kissed his cheek.

‘I know you know.’