Across the Sea By Anton Rose

May 26, 2016 Comments Off on Across the Sea By Anton Rose

Our first colours were blue and yellow. The blue of the sea, buckling with waves, and the yellow of the sun, warmer than ever before. My brother and I sat in the back of the boat, watching the greys and blacks of our homeland recede. I leaned over the side and reached out, wondering what it would feel like to touch the water, but one of the men grabbed hold of my shoulder.

“If you fall in, we won’t be able to save you,” he said.

We didn’t know what to expect, but at the camp on the other side, it was mostly the same as back home, different shades between white and black. One day my brother found an apple, unguarded. It was red and green and yellow, so he took it when no one was looking. It was the first piece of the collection we’d put together, adding more whenever we could:  gold pins from notice boards, blue bottles filled with water, red packets of rice.

We kept our collection secret, only bringing it out at night to hold its various pieces up to the light of the stars and the moon. We tried to remember, fixing them all in our minds, so that at night, we could dream in all the colours we had seen.

After a few weeks, a lady came to ask us where our parents were. We said we didn’t know. A few days later she came back again, and this time she wore a gleaming broach. When she saw me staring at it, she took it off and let me hold it. It was deep purple, with flecks of white.

The lady said she would take us away, both of us, to a new home, but I didn’t know what we would do with our collection, all the different colours we had gathered. I looked at my brother, but he didn’t seem scared, didn’t seem worried. “We’ll make a new collection,” he said, like he had read my mind, and then he smiled. For the first time ever I looked at his eyes, really looked at them, and they were a colour I’d never seen.

© 2016 Anton Rose

Anton Rose lives in Durham, U.K., with his wife and their very fluffy dog. He writes fiction and poetry, and his work has appeared in a number of print and online journals. Find him at antonrose.com or @antonjrose

Brittle Bones by Anton Rose

January 22, 2015 Comments Off on Brittle Bones by Anton Rose

“One fibula, three ribs, a collarbone, and a dislocated shoulder. Not to mention all the stitches. It’s been a remarkable recovery.”

My physiotherapist smiles at me. I look at him, trying to remember his name. John, perhaps? Or was it James?

“I had a word with a couple of people downstairs,” he continues. “And I managed to get hold of these.” He takes an A4 brown envelope off his desk and hands it to me. “I thought you might like to keep them. As a souvenir.”

I take the envelope from him and pull the tab open. I slide my hand inside, running my fingers along the smooth surface.

“The guy down in the X-ray department remembered your case when I mentioned your name. Said he rarely sees anyone smashed up so badly.”

“Thanks,” I say.

“I’m not exaggerating, you know. To be back on your feet so soon after your accident is quite an achievement.”

I shrug my shoulders, and he laughs. “You’re too modest,” he says.

“So is it ok if I go now?”

“Yes, of course,” he replies. “Sorry for going on. Am I keeping you from something?”

“Nothing in particular.”

“Oh. Well, as I say, don’t hesitate to get in contact if you’re having any issues. We can arrange another session or two.”

“Ok.”

I stand up. The pain seeps out through my legs, like thick syrup, up into my hips. My neck prickles with sweat.

“Are you ok?” he asks, narrowing his eyes.

I nod.

“And you’ve got enough painkillers for now?”

I nod again. There’s a full bottle at home.

He pauses for a moment then walks over to the door, opens it for me.

“You take care,” he says.

As I walk through the door I hear his voice again. “Oh, before you go, I had meant to ask. Have you remembered anything about the accident yet?”

I shake my head and leave.

Outside, I make my way to the main road. By the side of the pavement there’s a grassy area with a bench. I sit down. I open the envelope again and take out the slides. The first one is of my leg, washed-out blue and white. I see the fracture and run my finger along its length, trembling. I take a file out of my bag and clip the new slides in along with the old ones.

As I stand up, the burning sensation returns to my joints. I am on fire. I walk towards the road, watching the traffic. The tarmac is newly laid, its urban pungency filling my nostrils. I breathe it in deeply.

There’s a blue van driving towards me, on my side of the road. I watch the driver, keeping my eyes trained on his approach. He doesn’t even glance at me.

© 2014 Anton Rose

Anton lives in Durham, U.K. He writes stories and poems while trying to complete a PhD in Theology. His work has appeared in The Alarmist, Structo, and Open Pen.

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