Behind the mirror

imageBehind the mirror

The air is hot and heavy and the atmosphere is humid. It makes my garden feel like a desert. Stepping out onto the terrace, I attempt to cool off. The ground is dry and dusty and the concrete burns my feet. In the surrounding meadow, the crickets polish their legs against the grass, a bizarre lullaby spiralling from left to right. Above me, a seagull cries out, it’s throaty despair enveloping the landscape.

Breaking the sheen of the pool, I slide beneath the surface. The water is cool and clear and I feel at home within it. Flapping my arms – first up and down, then in and out – I devour it length and breadth. If it weren’t for the wall, that hard line that hurt my foot last summer, I could go on forever. As it is, I do my best.

Later, wet and exhausted, I fall into bed. The room hums, but even stirred, the air refuses to move. Mosquitos flock to my body and my arms lash out – swish, swish… favouring neglect to these curious ministrations which only make my skin itch. Behind the mirror, the gekkos make out. Already in their hundreds, soon their will be millions. Left unchecked, they will swallow my house.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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