I put my weight against the warm car bonnet and tried to clear the stars from my eyes. The woman in the back leant forward to speak, pushing waves of patterns past my vision in her wake.
“Sis are you ok? We lost you back at the gas station. Jed honey give her a hand.”
The click of the car door quivers through warm metal to my hands. I stare at the woman through the weaving patterns and catch her profile in the light. Familiar but not my sister.
“Theresa are you ok?” Said the man. I look to the woman and then back to him, he is staring at me.
The patterns clear and I see my face reflected in the rear window. But the window is down. I lower myself to look in the wing mirror, touching Theresa's lines, I see her soul in my eyes. A sonic wave of nausea moves through me, balance lost as Jed places me in the back of the car.
“We best get moving if we're going to make the cabin before it snows”. The man starts the engine.
The woman takes my arm and whispers, “This is what you wanted isn't it? Or did you expect to keep yourself too?”
By michael thricksos, on blogspot
The worn leather squeaked as if welcoming me home. The car smelt the same, of petrol and apple cores and liquorice cigarette papers, but it was my hands that frightened me the most. Such familiar hands, with their carefully shaped nails. That thin gold wedding band.
When she passed me the baby, I marvelled at the ease in which those fingers claimed him. As if they were more a part of him than me. Ben was sunk into his blanket, his small lips sucking even as he dreamed. I drew him close, but his dense, curled heat couldn’t touch me. Nothing could.
Without glancing up, I felt the woman’s eyes on me, but it was Jed who spoke.
“Of course,” he said, “we won’t go to the cabin right away. There’s the campsite to find first. There’s so much to come.”
A full bottle of whisky was wedged into the back seat between us, amidst a scattering of playing cards. A pair of sevens lay face up.
I leant my forehead on the clammy window as we started to drive. Stripped of their snow, the trees looked raw and vulnerable and very black.
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