A light on my bike, steers through the darkness. Pedals turn as I leave you behind. Winter drawing in now, the shadows breathe a little deeper. Air grips tight around me. A compress on my chest, crushes as I cry.
A change in the wind, leaves limp from the trees, not ready to let go. I’m not ready to let go. A change. Sun bright, air cold. Leaves gather at the road side, conkers crushed, defeated. This day. I think of you. Not ready for the change.
Clocks tick, keyboards type. The everyday clickity clack of life. Life without you. Life without us. Still we tick on. The absence aching.
In the depths of night, in the thick of silence, it cuts through the window. Slicing through the blinds. A sharp smile dancing on the walls. I run my fingers through the light. Grasp it in my hands. For a moment I’m not alone. I hold it in my hands and my heart lifts, my mind cools. Night after night. I wait for that smile.
Our home. Our haven. In the darkness I reach for you. Into the unfamiliar cold. Your absence staggering. Breath stealing. A knock out still.
Sunlight cuts through horizontal blinds. Yellow white so bright it’s blinding. A momentary distraction from this day. A brief escape from the humdrum, the tip tapping, clitter clatter of working life. In that moment, when I can’t quite see, I’m with you. Warm sun basking. Waves lapping. Sharing a secret. Not yet forgotten.
Calloused hands flick the pages. Crisp they turn, a sound so slight. Touched a thousand times, yet the ply still holds, the stories still keep. His feet shuffle on the floorboards, the chair creaks as he shifts forward. Clears his throat. Looking up the room is empty. Dust catches in the late sun. Shadows dance in the eves. A slice of sunlight sits warm on his face. He closes his eyes. Slowly swallows a choke. Lifting the book he inhales that damp familiar scent. His book. His stories. His eyes open and there they sit, waiting. Waiting for their story. A story to share. Another adventure. Another page turned. He begins. Listen now.
We stood on top of the hill. The city lights glistened below. Like stars dropped from the skies.
Just moments from home yet a different world. Up here the moon shined fierce, the cold bit harder. The shadows screamed.
Up here the earth was strong.
Hushed whispers ran through the grass. Howling wind slapped our faces. Charcoal trees laughed in darkness. Gnarled branches scratched our skin.
Our soft flesh scraped and tattered, we became something else.
Eyes burned ebony whirlpools. Limbs stretched, wings emerged. We took flight into the night. Another shadow, another scream.
Does your neck still burn from the rope I gave you. Do you think of me when you struggle to swallow. Your Adams Apple bobbing against what’s no longer there. Squeezing past the memory. The token I gave you to show I cared. Is it tucked in a draw, at the back with the socks. Beneath lining paper, pulled up at the corner. Do you reach to touch it. A repeated action you never let go. Grasping for nothing. Grasping at skin. Does your neck still burn. I wonder.
I got challenged to write a story including the word Rhinoceros
The rain drizzled half-heartedly. Soaking my jacket, without even trying. I was walking alone. I’m not sure when I let go of his hand. I think it was near the rhinoceros enclosure though it might have been before. I didn’t notice the loss. Didn’t notice his absence. I think I knew it was over. I turned to look back. He was stood reading about the rhino. Endangered. Extinct. Time for goodbye.