“The Young Ladies of the Telephone”

Excerpt below from the first chapter of my novella Estuaries. Read the full chapter at La Piccioletta Barca.

The morning was heavy, and could not be forced open, but would need careful fingers to peel it back like the buttery skin of a mango, which would make Leo a fine breakfast once she left her seat at the round table of her dreams.

The night, holding a second life, does not rely on the senses, but instead on a language that is located in the radiant rim around. That this vision is understood is one small part. That a smell or taste or sound can forge the breaking of the dams and begin the flood once more gives this invasion an eternal hue, as it spreads from its starting point into neighbouring limbs. The residue is heat, without sign of fire—fingerprints on a pane of glass—sunlight hitting skin.

In the molten substance of dreams, Leo could not feel the contrast. Each voice, each vibration entered at the same decibel, braided together as one. Her own voice could not defy these terms, either, becoming one instrument in the greater orgy of bright music.