Sharing a Roof

by B F Jones

We thought we had mice in the attic, or maybe birds, we argued about which one it might be, each hoping to be right for the sake of nothing but boredom. We debated over who's actually going to go up there, passing the torch back and forth to each other until you raised your shoulders too high and said that fine you’d go; and I watch you climb the dodgy ladder with a mix of satisfaction and shame and hope you don't fall down and wonder what I'd do if you did. You rummage for a minute and say you can't see a thing and I huff my exasperation and climb up the ladder too and I can't see a thing either and I'm about to say so out loud when a little fuzzy shadow scurries across. The rodent is not a mouse but a squirrel, carrying a nut to the makeshift nest in the far corner and we look at it for a minute and I rest my hand on yours long enough for the unease to grow and for you to slide it suddenly moist from underneath mine. I love you, I whisper in the darkness and my words echo in the stiff silence only disrupted by the scratching of the squirrel. Better get back down you say after a while and we both climb down the ladder and you go out into the garden and I make a cup of tea and sit at the kitchen bar, warming my hands on the cheap porcelain of my "Just Married" mug.


B F Jones is French and lives in the UK. She has flash fiction and poetry in various UK and US online magazines including Punk Noir, Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, Bristol Noir, The Cabinet of Heed, Storgy, The Daily Drunk and Funny Pearls. Her collection, Panic Attack, and poetry chapbook, Last Orders, will both be released by Close To The Bone at the end of the year. (Follow her on twitter.)