The sweat on my skin sits there and runs down like condensation on a window pane. It's hot but it's humid. Everything is big, the leaves, the insects, the predators. There are no paths I can find and the light is failing. It's never quiet. The noises that were fascinating earlier in the day now feel threatening, it's almost twilight. The virescent colours are now hues of grey. The vines have taken on the appearance of snakes and every shadow is a crouching Jaguar. My mind races to attach a creature to each noise and always leaps to the most deadly thing it could be first.
The bench was once a sea boat, one that had ridden so many waves with buoyant ease, feeling the sun and letting the wind pass by with its tuneful song. Now the colours of every year she was painted show through in rainbow flakes, rendering her all the more beautiful, safely in her earthen harbour.
I'm not sure if you'd say she was classically beautiful, but her large liquid brown eyes held such an intelligence and serenity that it was impossible for me not to be held prisoner by them. Her cheekbones weren't especially high and her nose was a little too long to be perfect, but there was undeniable symmetry to her features and perhaps that's what held me so captivated. She wore her long black hair in a bun each day, but in my mind it was long and fluid, lying gently over her shoulder bones, kissing her soft skin. It was all I could do not to stutter and blush when she addressed me.
And in a moment I am cast in crimson, bathed in a rosy glow; how the sun gives each dawn without even the asking or the earning of the light. I move my fingers through the air that grows brighter with each passing moment until it becomes a new bold day. Even in winter, as I watch my breath rise skyward, I feel the promise of the gentle spring passing into blood and bone, becoming a deeper part of who I am.
This house is my home, where the laughter happens and I can rest at the end of the day. From the street it is bricks and mortar topped with tile, the same as any other. Yet if you step inside you'll feel it's so different, a place where the lungs choose to fill a little deeper and the heart beat a little steadier.
Our house was the result of years of hard labour on the back of swarthy Bengali-speaking workers. At the height of its sumptuousness, it was the jewel of the river; the house of an important government official. Even when we lived, nearly five decades later, its pertinence and grandeur endured. But the formality of the house was both frivolous and well receded, so our childish endeavours could be fulfilled and we were free to squander away what was left our childhood on the riches of the land.
We have these autopilot submarine tankers. They go to where the sea-storms are and collect the rain, a funnel filling the underwater tank. Then they go to where the fresh water is needed... and it's all done with clean technology. We still do desalination, but this is easy and there's no point in letting all that clean water just fall in the ocean.
The town was a maze of narrow winding streets, as complex as the heart. The streets were the veins, paved with dark red stones, and the people were the blood. The sound of the smiths, beating swords and breastplates into shape, was the consistent and dull pounding that let you know the town was alive.
Gregory spread the avocado over the toast and sprinkled tomato on top as if it were cake decorations. There was a joy in how he did it, as if for a moment he was happily absorbed by a feeling of love that played in his subtle smile and soft gaze. Then he brought it over, his and mine, the breakfast that became a part of the rhythm of our lives together. For the first time ever I could see every day of my future and I wanted it, I wanted to stay and be apart of it more than anything I've ever wanted... for this new relationship to be something I sailed within until I am old.
He lifted his head in confusion, needing to ascertain what the hell was making that noise. He knew it was the creature, but he had to make sure. He didn’t. But he wanted to. And he’d already strained his neck enough that whether he placed it back into the dirt or not, he would be as visible as if he took a look. And so he did. He saw the thing, heard its snapping and its new whining. He saw it rearing up, spinning in circles, pounding the dirt and the already previously trampled rapeseed with its foremost legs. Making a shoddy looking crop circle, with various elongated edges. None fitting the previous line’s attempts at order. As it reared up and bellowed it's many cries, it's legs snapped outwards no more than an inch. Every time it cried, it did this elongation, or every time it elongated it cried. He couldn’t be sure, but he relished in the idea that the beast was uncomfortable in its body. He gained some solace in that fact. However, the snapping also came as the hoofs, hoofs being what he imagined them to be with all the rearing giving an equestrian feel, impacted the ground. Forcing the joints to retract into their non-dislocated positions.
The lightning and the sun upon the cloud tops was the only brightness that day. The wind ran as if it has been restrained for time out of mind and it was determined to outrun any chaser. The sound of it was a strange song, as if howling yearned for a melody, and we watched the trees join in the unfolding scene, as if the change, though abrupt and startling, was as welcome as a surprise knock on the door.