“Close your eyes,” molasses smooth, his voice beckons. Spidery fingers stroke my papery cheeks. Liquid slurps from a flask at my bedside. “Drink.” A small thimble is lifted to my lips and tilted till delicious syrupy plum and chocolate dances across my tongue and slips past my oesophagus. Cinnamon and spice lingers. I lick my lips as he dabs my quivering chin with delicate lace.
“Remember?” clouded amber pupils seek my own opaque blue, searching. Seventy years shed from my calcified mind and we are standing hand-in-hand, our eyes shielded from the brilliant light, flickering as the packing shed door flaps in the searing hot gusts of an Adelaide summer.
“There you are, Angelo. Time to say goodnight.” A young woman hovers at my bedside, her deft hands uncoupling our entwined fingers, tucking my own beneath the soft edges of the coverlet. She cups Angelo’s elbow and leads him away, flicking absently at the light switch as they depart.
Moonlight fills the room, a eucalypt sways outside casting shadows flicker and vanish. It reminds me of .. of .. something.. gone. Tears slip across my cheeks, rewetting my parched lips. I flick my tongue. Cinnamon and spice linger.