Black Chalk With Touches of White on Brown Paper


By Tristan Foster.

We exist in small rooms lit by twin lamps that, through their yellow shades, cast a sepia light. The world beyond the window, beyond the lip of the balcony, is dark. Maybe that’s light on the horizon, but the day is over. Inside, the light pulls the walls in tighter. We live in this, we live in this — I know no other way to say it.

She settles into the seat opposite mine, sighing through her teeth, a book in her hand, the expanse of a coffee table between us. She pushes her sleeves to her elbows, tucks her legs under her, runs her thumb down the book’s side and splits it open. Head bowed, spiral of hair down the side of her face, she reads with bored intent. I watch her. There were times when she was under my hands that I felt like I had brought her from my imagination and made her real. That feeling is gone. She slips a finger under the next page of her book before finishing the one she’s reading.

The world outside is built from the creaks and clicks of others. The hushed gust of a car. Planes scraping the sky. Bats in trees arguing like children. There’s the laughter of a man and the distant pulse of a siren, a whir and other noises I can’t place. If I listen closely I can hear my neighbours, who, or doing what, I don’t know, but it is them.


[This is a short extract, the full article is available to read in Issue Two]


Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia.