Christina Coates

He windows to me – I get the message quickly and look out far away to the distant mountains. They are clear. They cut a purple silhouette into the sky. I wonder how the day can be so crystal after the heat of the past week – then I remember it rained just last night. During the night.

I remain staring out across the sea and into the distance waiting for a signal that I can stop. A flock of cormorants – long lines fly across my sight roading it into black lines to hang notes of music by. I begin to hear the tune of the birds – a crochet here and quaver there. Black Mist – a searing and beautiful symphony. They are gathering in the autumn warmth, circling ever thicker until they night the sea ahead of me, a dark swirling mass hovering above on the surface of blue, some landing softly. A night symphony against a blue autumn sky.

Tiaan comes over. I am lost by the music before my eyes and have forgotten him and the meeting with Raubie but Raubie’s presence fingers me as I look at Tiaan. I can see the long lingering poison like strands of seaweed draped around his head. They reach out to tangle me too. I take Tiaan’s arm and pull him around and I point to the sea and the dancing night on the waves.

“Look at all the cormorants,” I say. “They are gathering to move to their winter roosts.”

“Let’s go home too,” says Tiaan.

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