The anonymous postcards had been arriving for months.

They weren’t strictly postcards. Short scribbled notes, hastily written in the shiny white frame around the back of a polaroid.

Today’s note said: “You’d rather be here.”

I turned the polaroid over, holding its white borders in two hands as I stared at the image. A waterfall plunged into a sapphire pool, lazy palm trees dotted on its grassy banks.

Whoever wrote it was right. I would rather be there.

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Part 1 of 5

I laid on our tattered two seater couch, looking out the only window of our tiny apartment. The air was hot and still. Outside, sharp blue slashes of light criss-crossed the artificial sky like a vast, LED-powered fishing net. Tiny beads of sweat pricked my forearm. I wiped them off as I checked my watch.

5:25pm — just in time.

I settled back into the sofa and put my hands behind my head and the lights began to phase. Sharp blue dimmed into a light silver, barely visible on the underside surface of the leaden dome some six-hundred feet above the city. To my right, our TV faded into outline and the rest of the apartment sank into monochrome darkness. I sat up, pulled the gauzy curtain aside to let in more light and lay back down. Fine golden lines appeared and traced each silver thread, softly glowing as they grew in intensity, gradually emitting a warm yellow light. The apartment glowed golden as the lights stabilised.

And then, it was officially night time.

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Authors Note: this is a short piece of fiction written as an exercise in narrative distance

Tom and Susan stood silently on the well-manicured lawn, looking at a bed of white lilies.

Beams of light from the patio lamps stretched across the lawn and made the flowers look like little stars. A small trowel stood upright in the loose soil, its red handle peeking up, and next to the flower bed, five small, empty flower pots were stacked. A portable sprinkler clicked in tight arcs over the lilies, spitting threads of water that sparkled in the faint light.

Tom held a glass of white wine is his right hand and the glass sweated in the warm summer night. He lifted his left hand and cupped it around his ear. “Can you hear that?”

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