Monday, 12 November 2018

Round 46.


He is 25, she is a little older.

He is asleep, but it’s already eleven in the morning; she is walking on the beach below the headland where the van is parked.

She is a stranger in this land, but she doesn’t recognise it and it doesn’t trouble her.

She wakes early most days.

He sleeps most mornings.

During the night, they make love.

On the beach she finds a bird, it is injured. It can not fly and makes no attempt to move when she approaches.

Her movements are slow, careful, and graceful and she gently takes the bird in her hands. Her hands are warm, though a little damp from the sea; she had needed to touch the sea.

The bird feels the warmth and it feels the sea and knows it is where it needs to be; the bird is going to die soon, it’s injuries are too severe but the bird knows that in these hands is where it needs to be.

She carries the bird along the beach, stepping carefully between the rocks and the shells. She takes care not to break or disturb anything, and then she climbs the hill and opening the door enters the van.

In his sleep he senses something and opens his eyes, there are four eyes watching him. Two he knows, he stared into them last night at the moment of orgasm and will never forget them, the other two are new and already distancing themselves from life.

He pushes up onto one elbow and yawns, he is naked, vulnerable but he doesn’t recognise this; it troubles him not.

‘You’re awake’, he says.

‘I found this’, she replies.

‘I think it just died’ he says, and she looks at the bird now peaceful and restful in her hands.

‘Can we bury it?’ she asks.

On the beach, later, they stand looking out at the grey sea.

‘This is a good place’, she says.

‘It’s going to rain’ he replies.


He is 27, she is a little older.

She is waiting outside a small station, deep in the countryside.

It is night; there is no one on the road.

He is in the van, driving; he is late.

They are both excited.

The headlights of the van swing across her face as he turns into the car park, she smiles and he smiles and cuts the engine.

‘Your late’, she says.

‘I’m sorry’, he replies.

They kiss.

As they drive deeper into the night, she leans close against him; he can smell her hair, her skin, her sex.

They stop by a small stream, alongside an old stone bridge.

They take off each other’s clothes and make love but she leaves her white ankle socks on as the air is cold.

In the morning he sleeps, it is almost eleven.

She walks along the stream, looking for treasures.


He is 62, she is a little older.

It is eleven and he wakes; the sound of the falling rain comforts him and he folds himself deeper into the covers.

The doors of the van are open and he hears the wings of a bird that passes and settles in the apple tree on the other side of the low stonewall.

It is autumn and the air smells of cider.

And smoke.

He is a stranger in this land.

It is her land.

But she is not here.

She is a stranger in another, on the other side of mountains that now separate them.

She is awake; she is walking in her garden.

She takes a fig from a tree and holds it in her hands as once she did a small bird.

Her hands are still warm, but they no longer taste of the sea.

She bites into the fig.

The juice trickles down her lips.

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