Air of Water

Hallam swished the thin, winter stick through the chill, spinning. He felt the cool flit across his fingers, air of water, the light of the rain … but then the cold froze into stone, the breeze on Hallam’s hand was dampened by warm flecks.

The earth flew up to him. Hallam lost hold. He turned in the cold shards of grass to the winter rod, the end the colour of dark wine. His hand was marked the same.

At the base of the tree, Hallam saw him, slumped, lift his hand gingerly to the sharp bright dash across his nose and under his eye. He pulled his hand away, staring at the red running down his fingers … and then a white cloth drifted down from Hallam’s open hand like a dove. The colour began to grow, life reaching it, for a moment.

Hallam, now kneeling down in front of him, watched him bring it to his face. Soon, the calm returned. The white sky, the grey trees, the dewed grass … nothing shining as the long-dead stick, the doven cloth. Always fading, rusting, – but for a time – colour of wine.

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