a short story about a bedroom

Callum MacKenzie Finnigan 14 January 2021

Inside was out and outside was in, the room felt outside. Outside felt its hand inside the room. The woollen sleeve had been pulled inside out, and the sheep had entered the room, counting us sleeping for once.

Their noises, their guttural croaks and mews, their awakenings from sleep were hidden inside the room, where I slept. Grass too, its smell, wet, new, optimistic, wafted through the door, over the sheets, with the effortlessness of the falling leaves outside the window.

The villagers too arose from their slumber, ferreting about, above, below, around. Their sounds of morning activity, of preparing their day greeted us as we clung deeper, harder to the bed, boys scrambling for the buoy.
Not far off, the whine of a mill, giving out its daily sigh, the air it exhaled, depressed, coming our way, licked our linen.

We slept, I slept, in a wash of grey-blue iridescence. The sky had been evicted it seemed and had taken up residence with us. The clouds shadows danced just over the threshold, tentative, as I opened my eyes.

What time was it? what time was it? when it happened, when the outside entered in, when it became out in a flurry of motion, when worlds were combined, mixed, a palette swirled?

I didn’t know! what time was it now?

5:42. I placed the clock back down, the red flashing corner like a lighthouse in an ocean, lighthouse, clock, both tethers, both rocks, places of safety, to ground you, to fix you, lest you’re led astray , a sheep in the flock.