Tuesday, April 12, 2011
There and gone
Yellow warmth pours down from the sun, its light shimmers briefly across Murdoch’s back before it is absorbed, swallowed up by his black fur. Beside him, Jack’s coat glows deeply and reflects a golden puddle on the snow. They run, black shadow and pool of light, side by side along the trail.
Jack stops, his body stiffens, listening. He leaps forward sending up sprays of snow as he runs faster and faster. Murdoch, a step behind, unsure of what’s happening follows anyway.
I call their names as they disappear into the trees. My voice bounces back at me, unheard. I stand and listen to them crashing away like a couple of bulldozers through the bush and shake my head. But then a slightly different sound reaches me, a secret sound I’m not supposed to hear. I stand still and hold my breath. Branches break in a more refined way, like they are made of glass, and underneath that sound of trees being politely brushed aside I hear the light swish of feet in snow.
I watch the stand of trees, stare into the vertical spaces and see them, almost unreal in their sudden appearance. Two deer move almost silently forward, impossibly big and solid to be making their way through that space. For a moment I think they will leap right into me.
But with just a slight turn, like a trick of the light, they are gone again amongst the trees and with them any sound that could even hint at their presence.