Candle against the wind, the weak light flickers on, casting a shadow that scares itself. A gust blows through and quiets the flame. A spire of smoke races for the clouds and a drip of wax runs down her hand. She leans down and picks up the faint glow coming from the phone.
They were sitting there underneath the baker's house as the storm passed. Chewing the edges of the textbook, they leafed through the chapter on the Theory of Positive Disintegration. The wind was harsh and the words were sleepy. "You know just how to put me to sleep," she said. It was an hour or more, but the wind and storm was shorter by far. Night came and each found one another's shoulders to be a suitable pillow. Never mind the sore necks, they had each other and were out from the cold. At least as far as prying the lock off the basement door would allow. They could have done with a key, but the baker only made a single copy and he was still out in the city, looking to make a buck off the chaff.
That was last week. And since then the baker made a second copy of the key. Because he lost the first.
Scratched at the dark night of the soul, she looks at the phone, opened up to the last message.
running out of batteries
Left incommunicado, lost in the wilderness, the send icon keeps spinning, spinning. The signal bars taking deep breaths. Full to zero and back again. Spinning. Spinning.
A squeak, and the only light from the phone now is the one bouncing off moonlight.
She puts the phone back into the woman's hand. She walks over to the next house.
She'll find her sister eventually.
Written on Monday, 9 December 2013