The argument was long and without a reason, except that it was caused by pressures which were real enough. I sat and I watched them both disappear into the small, black places they made for themselves until, at the last, at the end of something, he gave a bellow and stalked from the room.
She and I only remained, and she didn’t see that as he left, he wore for a moment the face of a great brown bear with matted hair and bared white fangs.
Still, I was glad to be back with them, though the disquiet I had known before was multiplied. We worked on the old projects, even with a presentiment of failure. Or more the sense that success or failure was irrelevant now. And the animals would come and go.
He was the bear again only once, some weeks later, stood at the sink washing dishes. I thought then about washing up on camping holidays in the South West, birdsong and the early evening chill in the grey-blue light, and I reached out to touch the fur at the base of his skull and I knew then she was behind me and I knew nothing more until I woke up here with the ticking of the longcase clock and the sun on the sampler over the bed that reads ‘Lo!’ with the picture of the gate to the garden.
I am tired, though I have slept. Someone is moving around in the kitchen.
Sleeps In Oysters