by Dettra Rose
The wind squalls, turning me like spinifex. Only when the cans and papers stop rolling down the street, only then can I hear my thoughts. Only then I hear my heartbeat, louder than the rattling gate.
In the early morning when he’s gone, there’s respite. He starts work at 6am and blusters in two or three times a day. The ute he drives is stuffed with sharp tools. When I hear those wheels pull up a hurricane whips my blood. His grubby boots thud on the front stairs.
Lunch. Cold drinks. Coffee. Snacks. Prison patrol disguised as refreshment.
I make sure I’m home. Don’t smile much, just enough. Told my friends not to call when he could be home. He leaves his glass smeared with oily fingerprints. I wash it quickly to the beat of his boots crunching back down the gravel path.
Our wedding photo is on the kitchen bench. Pretty dress. Lipstick. Toothy smile. Standing straight as a streetlight. I don’t know where I’ve gone. The bins crash over outside, spilling. Litter swirls in the yard. I’m not picking it up. Say that every day, but do it anyway.
There’s a song on the radio in the afternoons. Acoustic guitar. Woman singer with bats in her throat. Flapping. Screeching.
‘Set those bats free.’ I tell her. ‘Release them! How the hell did you grow a voice like that?’
The glass protecting our wedding picture glistens in shards on the kitchen tiles. I rip the photo in half. I’m through the rattling gate, before the storms fling me back. Whirling. Hoping, this time, I won’t lose my path.
Three cookbooks, two children. The dog lead and the dog. Half a photo in my purse. One day, I won’t need it to remember who I am.
Dettra Rose is a Londoner living in NSW Australia. She writes flash fiction, non-fiction articles and tiny poems. Her flash pieces have won and been commended/shortlisted/longlisted in many esteemed competitions. Currently, she’s in the final stages of finishing her first novel. Please read more @ Dettrarose.com Twitter – @dettrarose Facebook – @dettrarose