Thursday, 14 August 2008

Jonson Jones opened the back door to allow his dog to exit the house. The dog had been scratching at the door persistently for the past five minutes. The door now open, the dog scampered out and Jones poked his head out into the night air. It being a mild, calm night, Jones decided to join his pooch outside. He fetched his glass of wine and sat himself on the bench beside his house. His dog wandered over to him and allowed itself to be stroked with gentle fondness. Jones sat like that for a while, listening to the hushed roar of midnight silence. He enjoyed this respite from feeling weird, from being bogged down in bright light and human emotion. He enjoyed the dark and his mute animal companion. Well, mute that is except for occasional coarse, territorial barking.

Presently he heard his neighbours' back door opening. He could just about discern the vague shape of his neighbour emerging silently onto her back doorstep. She stood there for a minute and Jones had the impression that she was watching him although he couldn't be certain she noticed him at all sitting so still in the dark like that. But evidently she did because she spoke to him, commenting on the fine nocturnal weather. Jones murmured his agreement. She opened the wooden gate in the fence that segregated their respective gardens and sat down beside him without speaking. Jones heard her swallow in the silence. What a peaceful sound, a comforting, reassuring sound. He grasped his knee and tried desperately to think of something to say. Then he sipped his wine and relaxed and asked his neighbour if she would care for a sip from his glass. Indeed I would she told him with a hint of playfulness in her tone that made Jones feel almost nauseous with excitement. He wanted her to stroke his dog, he wanted to stroke her knee. He longed to embrace her delicate frame and kiss her lips and feel her breath hot and heavy in his ear. He took a long sip of wine and allowed himself to feel giddy and irresponsible. His dog lay at their feet and sky was tinged with violet and distant streetlights were an acidic amber colour.

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