Stillness

He was the wood behind a strong table he sat by. She, the cushion she sat on. His feet clasped around the bulk of another chair, he sat reading a book with her every afternoon. Soon it would be time for her to leave. The wind was a nosy neighbour today, pressing its paws on the tightly shut windows. It would come whistling by only to be broken with a loud rupture. Now and then he would look up and smile a smile that can only come from just having read something you have thought of previously, but never had the patience nor the desire to word it the way the writer has. She would look at him and wonder if he had reached that part of the book yet. She couldn’t say. She remembered smiling her way through that book, not knowing which smile went where now.

After an hour of exchanging prolonged sighs and ignoring cramps in the small of their backs and the tightness around their necks, she would stand up urgently as if to compensate for an hour of listlessness. She would walk slowly now, all urgency forgotten and walk the length of the tall windows that appeared carved on the big wall.

Inching closer to the window, she would gently put her head on the glass, and try to measure the wind with her eyes and ears. Almost fearing the unkemptness of hair that the wind would bring, she pauses before opening the window. Bravely, she thrusts the window open lest it should come crashing back. Today, it would not. There was a guarded stillness in the air that didn’t quite match up to how it looked before the window was thrown open. It seemed as though her opening of the window had caused this sudden pause, this spiralling downwards of noise into itself, how in noisy supermarkets sometimes by co incidence, everything and everybody just quiet down. The music stops first and then the hushed cacophonies of customers and their trolleys and in a moment of decisiveness, everybody looks up to see if all is well in the world.

It was in this moment of an overstretched yawn, of the pulse not coming back to its milder other half, of an echo, eerie than death itself that she saw a grey dog biting into the calm and running for its dear life. A second later, the land exploded, pulling everything down to dust.

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