Interlude

His footsteps tread heavy on this path, twigs crackle and splinter under him as he wearily walks on. He surveys the land around him, the sunlight playing through the trees as the last remnants of life wither and die in the early winter air.

He has always enjoyed these walks, the solitude revealing more to him than any conversation or sound, his emotions raw and real, unfettered by implication, speak to him in a clear voice, offering a clarity he knows is false but enjoys all the same.

His steady pace never falters whilst his eyes cast around catching movement in the undergrowth, a flickering shadow here, a gently bending stalk there. Tiny moments of life that continue regardless, and again he is reminded of the future and his dreams rush back to meet his reality. He walks on through the wood, past places he has visited before, knowing that he will soon find something new.

He takes a fork in the path, making his decision and wonders where it will take him. The air changes around him, a gentle breeze carries the chill of the sea.

Elsewhere she is drowning, clawing at the surface with her fingers, desparately casting around for something, anything, to stop her going under. Her fingers brush something only to push it out of reach, but she is in luck and the tide brings it back, a dark looming shadow above her and as she reaches up she swears it reaches down for her, pulling her up until her head is clear of the water and her gasping lungs gorge themselves on the night air.

She clinges to the log as best she can, slipping on the slimy surface until day breaks, and the warm sun helps her grip tighter and tighter until she can start to haul herself from the dark water, head and shoulders first, until soon she is sitting on the log, floating high. She throws her head back to feel the warmth of the sun on her face, and a smile slowly emerges.

Her feet dangle in the water, aware of the current beneath, feeling it’s pull and drag, the old familiarity. She resists, and watches the soft pulls of cloud slowly pass overhead as a gull floats high above, cartwheeling elegantly through the sky as it watches the world slowly spin below.