Fever (II)

The sun is high but weak. Watery rays stretch to reach us as we walk hand in hand beneath bare trees, collars turned up and scarves wrapped tight.

“I’ve got this dream,” you say, as I watch my feet meet and leave the dull concrete pavement over and over. I smile.

“You always have a dream,” I say, looking up at you. You jab a finger at me but I bend away with a squeak. “What’s the dream today?” I ask.

“It’s tomorrow’s dream, actually. Tomorrow I’m going to stay in bed all day and eat nothing but chocolate.”

I laugh. “That’s a rubbish dream for someone who can’t eat more than two squares of chocolate without feeling sick.”

“That’s why it’s the perfect dream, silly. The dream is to eat chocolate all day without feeling sick.” Your lips, bright pink and cracked with cold, fight to stay straight. I roll my eyes and pretend ignore you, pushing my hands deeper into my mittens and pockets. You pull on one of my elbows until I let your hand into my pocket too. Your fingers enclose mine, ice cold safety.





Fever (I)

There’s a pain inside my chest, as if I have just eaten something hot straight from the oven. I can trace it moving slowly down my throat, slipping through my rib cage to my stomach. It’s the words I swallowed when I saw your face as you came through the door. 


© Terri Baker