Three Kinds of Lost
by Suzanne Conboy-Hill
At the bottom of the shopping bag? No.
Under the sofa? Nada.
Down behind the cushions, then? Oh God, what is that stuff?
Sloshed to papier mâché at 40C in a jeans pocket? Better not be.
Chased down the garden by a freak wind?
In the car, down in the footwell? Your footwell, then? No? Well where?
You keep looking.
The bird is looking; its beady eyes lasering a line through the branches at the scuttling humans below. It fluffs, pokes around with its beak, and nests its egg on the soft shreds of their wasted effort.
The floorboards above creak and shed dust that falls into her face. She battles a cough, swallows it and tries to stifle it within where it can do no damage. But it lurches up and down like a mole rat in a tunnel and finally erupts in a tiny kppff. The footsteps pause in a hung silence that seems to suggest a limb held aloft while the owner listens. She listens back, tries to read what she can’t see and guess who is there. She wants to be found, but not by him.
The island that never was, the plane, the bodies, the dead and alive comings and goings, and the endless search for the metaphysical. Do you know how much we hated you for this? For drawing it out, keeping us on your hook and line until we sank into the miasma of your dissemblings? You gave us ghosts when we yearned for flesh so we left you. Are you still there, still searching for a way back? Sorry, we have Mulder and Scully again now.
(c) Suzanne Conboy-Hill 2016
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