On the Morning We Left

by Ian Rochford

The front door was open, allowing morning light to flow in across the bare pine boards and suffuse the empty lounge room with caressing warmth. It stopped at Lisa’s feet, one still frozen on the bottom step, as if asking permission to enter the rest of the house and begin the task of fading away all their memories and dreams. As she roamed through the house trying to find a way to say farewell, she wondered if it would find any forgotten shreds of hope, still clinging to the bare walls and echoing rooms above. She found Martine in the kitchen, staring in silence at the crayon sketch on the wall by the back door, the drawing showing a multicoloured, happy family of stick figures, hand in hand by their pointy-roofed box house with its single window, tiny door and the one massive, smiling flower in Mummy’s garden, completed by the childish signature of “Tim” in the corner. Adam had wanted to cut it from the wall and frame it, but then, Adam had wanted to do so many things. “We should rub it out,” said Martine softly, tracing the outlines with her tiny finger, “because the new people won’t understand.”


Ian Rochford, whose full catalog is here, is an Australian screenwriter (ostensibly of comedy) who recently rediscovered the pleasures of writing short stories.