by Ian Rochford
It’s interesting how the shape of a person’s life can begin in such a smooth curve and end in a jagged peak, a short gust of terror at gunpoint followed by the great plunge into oblivion. I had hunted him through the square, carved canyons of six cities, but it was on the backroads near my home that I found him, on the old roads running out into the ancient places. The roads here aren’t hacked into the land, they follow its contours - they are laid in place, like the towns and villages, and the few incisions made to accommodate them have long healed over, the scars smoothed by the obliterating flow of time. As he dug into that peaceful field where we boys had played together, he sobbed, saying he always knew I would find him, and he had come back to die in the only place where he had ever been loved. I told him the wrong that he had done should be expiated in the place where it was wrought; his grave would occupy the same soil that had absorbed my brother’s blood so many years ago, blood that was on his hands. Perhaps then the scar on my heart would also heal, though somehow I doubted it.
6S - C1
Ian Rochford is an unemployed Australian screenwriter (ostensibly of comedy) who recently rediscovered the pleasures of writing short stories. He is now plundering his fading memory for all the good ideas that came and went unrecorded, which probably accounts for the maddening inconsistency of his output.