The Dead Man wakes to a wasp in his room. It bounces against the window pane. The Dead Man watches it, one eye open, from his bed, sheets twisted around his legs. A memory comes to him: the times when he was awake at dawn as a child, woken by his father barging through the house, shutting drawers and talking to his mother above regular speaking volume, his daily performance of leaving for work. One time he slammed a door shut so hard that the photo-frame in the hallway fell off the wall. When his father had left, his mother would enter his room to rub his head. She sat on the edge of his bed and told him to focus on the cooing of the doves at the window. The warmth of her touch and the sound of the birds outside soon pulled him back into a drunken slumber, just to be woken with a start 45 minutes later, usually by his mother, who, by this time, had switched demeanour, now re-enacting the exasperated clambering of his father.
Will the wasp escape? Where does time go? The Dead Man can tell from the angle of the sunlight that it is already afternoon.
Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father and 926 Years, co-authored with Kyle Coma-Thompson.