Traces by Daniel Fraser

Her hand is at the window, moves the curtain, she is waiting. She tries to read. Her eyes move over her article in National Geographic. The issue is an old one. The lake is red like a sunset. She likes the word ‘caldera’.

He arrives to her with an omen of herons. His shadow is a stone. Their kiss removes all traces of lava. Her belly is swollen now. She heats food on the stove: pasta, tomatoes, garlic. He moves plates and knives from the drawer to the table. The forks are there already. They are set. Their mouths move with nothing but their meal.

The silence ends suddenly. She is frightened. He presses her head to his shoulder and tells her not to worry.

‘Do not worry’ he says, ‘there is nothing to worry about. It is only the creaking of the trees.’

Her hand is at the window.

‘That one?’ She points to the thin one, the one with the white bark and the three red leaves, leaves that have not fallen.

‘Yes.’ He says, and again ‘yes’. And then ‘all the leaves should have fallen by now.’

‘Yes.’ She says with one hand on her belly and then his hand is there too and with their heads and their belly and their eyes they look out to the street and beyond the street to the tree, the one with the white bark and the three red leaves, and they think about the twig they are clinging too, the small sinew of new growth, and they are glad, they are glad that there is one place out there that winter cannot reach.

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Daniel Fraser is a writer and critic living in London. His work has featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Berfrois, Gorse, the Quietus, Music and Literature, Black Sun Lit and 3AM Magazine among others. Find him on Twitter @oubliette_mag. Website:

Photo credit: Rinzler

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