by Nicole Taylor

He drives casually; his left palm against the steering wheel, negotiating potholed streets, the other bringing a cigarette to his dry lips. "You Russia girl?" he asks, eying Michelle in the rear view mirror. "Australian," she replies in a tone that is at once breathless and content. The car's backseat window is broken at the handle, it neither slides up nor down. I gaze at the city streets - the endless sandstone structures, an elderly man languishing in the summer sun, a girlchild reading her lessons aloud in clear, steady Arabic. "Julia didn't want to come here," Michelle reveals, addressing the driver but glaring at me, "but now, now, we don't want to leave."


Nicole Taylor is the literary editor of Sketch.