Lone crane

The crane flies low, dangerously close to the roofs of cars, so close that a careless truck could quickly knock it out of the sky. Everyday the swan swoops down, the same time, the same place.

The crane visits the green lawn by the bungalow, the dogs and inhabitants give him no mind. He feeds and makes his way across the street, slowing working his way up, towards the end of the patchy shrubs between the pavement and tar road. He moves methodically, disappearing and appearing on roofs, compound walls but never parked cars.

That is his afternoon, by evening when the sky turns grey and dull, he flies off. A fellow observer knew the cranes patterns and told me where to look for him. Their main takeaway was that the crane had a strict adherence to routine and that it was alone.

This was once a valley, named after the elephants who drank at the lake. Now the valley is flattened by apartment complexes, houses, roads and turns. The low storm drain was once a fast stream and maybe instead of the pigeons, kingfisher and hawks, between electric wires and dropping covered TV-dishes there was more to this valley for a crane.

Can you tell a crane to move? That the lakes are gone and that there may be one, but soon he’ll be gone.

Letter writer

Somewhere a hundred miles away, someone began a letter. I knew I couldn’t have heard it but the noise insisted. 

I could hear the curves and edges as they were written, as the paper was smothered. First the words seemed upside down, backwards in form and sound. Then they were just reversed echos. “Mirrors are more fun than Television” they seemed to say. Then crunch! With swift and firm fingers the paper was crumpled and tossed away.

Then unfolded, hands studied the creased, whispering the words, admiring the contours and mountains that had broken the flat white sheet. At least I think the paper was white. I liked to think so while the writer paused and thought. The words were written again, different this time, but the same sounds stayed. A pen rapped across the tables and around the walls of my head. 

Very anxious I took an gander, wondered who’d write me. Alas the doom of speculation and the memories of pen sounds inside my skull. The letter was written and filed away, never mailed. 

Born to wait

The queue seemed to stretch for miles with people moving like they had all the time in the world.

I was tired and unsure of the ground below me. I looked around and decided that the people there were a sorry lot despite being dressed up like a carnival. The ones that smiled made me uncomfortable.

Eventually I reached the gate. Some guy there showed me a video- all sped up but vaugly familiar. I said “What a sad little story, you guys should make that a movie.” 

He said “The name’s Peter. That was your life on replay.” 

Fortune Teller

The astrologer gave me a wicked smile as he called me closer. Even the poorly painted palm that advertised his presence seemed sinister.

His office was tucked away in a narrow lane with many houses bearing down on the road, but I saw no people. Inside it was painted red and the only light came from a dirty, shut window. He gave me a rusted coin box while he prepared his cowrie shells.

He smiled when I dropped a whole heap of coins but gasped when he looked at how his shells fell. I looked at him hopefully but he only said “I don’t like looking at my own future.” and returned my coins with a grimace.