waiting, waiting

Waiting, Waiting by

The woman wakes, pulled reluctantly from her dream. The usual dream: where everything is whole, and nothing is lost. The room is warm, the last log still burning in the grate. She knows there is a frost, she can hear it. Not a noise exactly, more a deep, heavy silence. No cows bellowing for their babies, no frogs, no foxes—even the mice have stopped their scuttering in the ceiling. The absence of sound feels like floating in space. She is comforted by the sense of emptiness and drifts into a half-sleep until morning.

***In the afternoon, the man and woman wander through the long damp grass behind the house. Cobwebs cling to the wet hem of the woman’s skirt. Her loud whistle rips through the twilight and the dog bounds to her from the violet shadows of the back paddock.

***“Good boy,” she says, stroking his soft head, his coppery fur streaked with grey.

***Now and then a gust of wind blows through, cool and sharp with the sweet smell of wood smoke carried from the houses in the valley. A partially deflated, pink swan skims across the surface of the pool, the mossy-green water quivers under a layer of dead leaves. Thick, tangled wisteria vine shrouds the pool fence, the gate sealed shut by the twining tendrils.

***They lay together on the old trampoline and watch the darkening sky. The rusty springs creak as they settle. Beneath them, the dog turns three circles and then flops to the ground with a tired sigh. The night unfolds gradually, although it feels sudden. The lucent shimmer of stars and the dark boundlessness of it calms and unnerves them all at once.

***“I think we need to leave this place,” he says.

***“What if she comes back, and we aren’t here?”

***“She is not coming back,” he says softly.

***They stare at the sky in silence both knowing that they will stay. That they will wait.

 

 


 

 

Adele Hally is an Australian writer and is currently studying Creative Writing and Curtin University. She lives on an island with her quiet partner and loud dog.

@HallyAdele

 

Photo – pixabay

 

 

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1 thought on “Waiting, Waiting”

  1. I got goosebumps by reading this story. Beautifully written and what’s not said, lingers. Goosebumps are still here. Well done!

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