by Jo Langdon
The flat still has the smell of paint, and the new carpet is full of static.
He is dressing in the dark, kicking into the cold legs of his jeans when she surfaces from the sheets, hair disordered and eyes shining.
When he leaves he checks the lock by twisting the handle, once, twice, and then he slides the key under the door. Outside he pockets his fists but the cold soon begins to ache in the bones of his hands and feet.
He steps into the slick black street and imagines he is stepping into her dream, but inside she is staring up at the shadowy cracks on the ceiling, as if waiting for sleep, or for the telephone to ring.
She turns sideways to face the window. The sheets are cold and do not smell of anything. A phantasm of snow against the glass reminds her, somehow, of somebody speaking.
Jo Langdon is a literary studies PhD candidate at Deakin University. Her published fiction and poetry includes work in Mascara Literary Review, Wet Ink, and Voiceworks.