You chew the dirt from beneath your nails. The grit slithers across your tongue. The earthy black rushes down your throat. You cough. It is short, and dry. Your chest jerks, and the silver medallion bounces against your jutting sternum. It’s buff edges catch the moonlight.
The frayed ends of your smoke, grey jacket wrap its tattered fringes into the bark of the Oak. You lean comfortably. Your right heel is crossed in the curve of your left ankle. Your eyelids drop with the warmth of complacency.
The clearing is small, but is open before you. It is empty like a broken Echo. You gnaw at the frost-bitten, blue of your lower lip. The crystal tendrils of your shimmering breath trail through the dry air like a heavenly orb.
Your tongue clicks like a second-hand across the raw roof of your mouth. Your ears search for the shrill, lengthy hum of the Cessna engine. It shouldn’t be long now. A savory rush skitters across the fringes of your skin. The itch always starts just before the fall.
It begins with the distant dirge of the slowing engine. That’s you’re cue. The Cessna is low. Your left arm flicks upward. Your nails dig into the crown of your Rolex. You twist the time back to five o’clock. Forced wrinkles carve the skin above your brow. Your eyes cinch shut. You forgot to take them again today.
You shake the sketched lines from your forehead. Your tongue smears the copper drops across your lower lip. Your back arches. Your shoulder blades thrust against the fractured bark. It crumbles down the back of your jacket. You step forward.
Your cell phone rests face down in your palm. Its flashlight glares into the grimy Night’s sky. It signals high before the precious cargo is dropped below. You watch the glittering plastic as it falls. Its white shimmers and fades like a shooting star. It lands ten feet to the right.
Your chin juts upward. You follow the Cessna’s departure. The plane’s landing lights flash. You inhale. The Arctic air rushes your lungs. A vortex spins behind blood-shot eyes. Maybe you imagined it. The cold air is hard to swallow.
You shove your phone back into your jeans. The white plastic bale lies damp in the grass. Your cold hands smear the salty sweat down your cheek. Your knees pop as you bend. You drown the murmur of the crinkled plastic. It is stuffed under your left arm. Your footpath is slightly to your right.
Just past the clearing, it is unnervingly dark. The moonlight stops short of the branches. A churning agitation coats your stomach. The walk back to your car will be a long one.
You jump at the vibration in your pocket. The notification bar on your phone illuminates. Your slender fingers, still sticky and warm, fumble against the denim. The tips smudge the flickering screen.
The perfectly lined text etches across the smeared glass.
Meet at the tracks
The phone wavers like a sinking ship. Your palm trembles. The itch digs deep. Your steps slow like an ebbing fog.