It’s hot, the kind of heat where the air closes oppressively around you. Erin is crouched down in the shade of a banksia, its honeyed perfume filling her nose. The constant buzz of cicadas fills her ears. The sound of it is maddening; an unvarying drone that threatens to draw her ear deeper, to find the space between each click.

She had gone down the little slope from the fire trail, looking for a place to hide, past the screen of grasses and wattles.  Somewhere nearby, Trinh and Mike are looking for her.  She’s very still, eyes locked on the loop of scales in front of her.  She can see them rise and fall with each breath.  A dark, bifurcated tongue flicks out, tasting the air.

There is the sound of voices up on the trail nearby.  The coils move, dry scales rasping over each other.  Like that, it’s gone; flowing like water into a cluster of nearby grasses.  Erin breathes and the drone of the cicadas fades into the background.


~ by Electro-mechanical Man on March 25, 2011.

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