By Laura Meyer
A peachy haze filters through dusty Eucalypts. Their silvered bark glows with a lustre reserved only for that hour of the day where time itself seems suspended, along with the dust motes that hang in golden air.
The sky stretches wide and far. A translucent cobalt blue, like deep Mediterranean seas, rouged with wisps of pink and purple. A barbed wire fence stretches out along a rutted dirt road; small explosions of colour amongst the leaf litter, as wildflowers escape towards fading sunlight. A horse nickers in the distance – unseen behind a copse of trees. Dots of shaggy white sheep can be seen in the lush fields, as ewes graze companionably with their lambs, a faint breeze carrying their sheepish conversation across.
The dirt road is anything but straight. It twists and curves around, undulating in soft waves. Its ups and downs offer glimpses of a man as he trudges along making his way towards a homestead. As he tops a crest, he stops and raises dark eyes to the scene open before him.
A white weatherboard house sparkling in a small ocean of greenest grass and wooden planters overflowing with coloured bulbs; others cocooned leafy herbs amongst ready to harvest vegetables. A sprinkler stands proudly, showering its bounty over the waiting gardens. A rust coloured pup noses after glistening skinks that bathe in the misted lawn.
The man drank it in. His weary eyes softening as he watched.
It was then he saw the girl. She walked around from the back of the homestead, a book in one hand. Her sandals slapping on wet grass, flicking yesterday’s lawn cuttings up on to bare shins. She walked over to a gnarled gum tree and sat beneath its lofty canopy. He watched as she stretched long legs out, shaking off her sandals in the process, smoothing her plain calico dress.
He hesitated still – feeling an intruder in her moment. But the evening was close and he had travelled long. He started towards the homestead, following the furrowed road; the sweet smell of cold water from a warm hose, growing stronger with each step.
This is a FridayFlash piece I wrote a while back, that has since evolved into something bigger. I’ve always loved descriptive narrative so wanted to play around and give it a shot – get away from genre, for a change… this was the initial result.