Friday Fiction #1

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Last winter they had skated here: his hand wrapped around hers – wool on wool. They had slept late, breakfasted on herring and milk, dumping the dishes in the sink before he filled the tartan flask. The sun streaked ice was busy with school children and workers on their lunch breaks, slicing blades and giddy cries. He helped her with her skates – ‘like prince charming’ he had laughed – and then took her hands, sliding slowly backwards onto the ice, his eyes a safety net as she followed. If she’d only been better, stronger, faster. If only she hadn’t decided to stick with the babies, nervously toeing the ice, flinching from triple salchows. If only he’d taken her racing up river with him, sliding beneath that farthest bridge in record time. As they caught their breath, she would have seen the line in the ice unspooling. She would have warned him. The snap silenced the world but he, so loud with life, went without a word: a blue-coated stain beneath the gauzey ice. This year there are signs. Children are turned away. Workers eat their lunches at their desks. But she waits and waits for the ice to come again.

 

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