by Sandra Arnold
The air is so hot we leave the tent open all night and sleep in the light of a new moon. I dream of paper lanterns and magic castles and sliding down a snow-covered hill. I dream of kaleidoscopes and crayons and church bells and fairy tales and dolls’ prams and chocolate coins and oranges. The sound of the sea shakes me awake. I want to slip back to kaleidoscopes and spinning tops, the sleigh and the snowman. But it’s the hour when babies slip into the world and old people slip out of it and sometimes those in between. He murmurs, deep inside dreams of his own. I slip outside the tent. The sky is packed with stars. Fat blobs of light rise out of the mist that hangs over the sea. I reach out to touch them. I walk into the waves with my baby in my arms and set her adrift on the sea. A bird flies low overhead.
Sandra Arnold is an award-winning writer who lives in New Zealand. Her flash fiction and short stories appear or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and New Flash Fiction Review and in the anthologies, Sleep is a Beautiful Colour (National Flash Fiction Day, UK, 2017), Fresh Ink (Cloud Ink Press, NZ, 2017) and Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories (Canterbury University Press, NZ, 2018).
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Imagination; Don't Blink'