Another #writephoto prompt from Sue
Bastion Rogers lent over the little rock pool, catching his reflection. The words ‘Neolithic bidet’ popped into his head and he smiled. And stopped. He’d smiled. Now that was unexpected. He bent closer, peering at the shadow man, holding a pose in the glassy surface. His father would have loved the idea, his face wrinkling at the nonsense of it all. The nonsense of it all; his motto these days.
Bastion took a picture of himself and slipped his camera away as he cupped his hands and sipped the chilled liquid. Moments later he spat it out, the illusion of crystal clear spring water lost in a foul bitter mouthful of decay.
And Bastion cried, a single tear at first but then a torrent splashing into the mix, adding his own salty secretions to the puddle. It was that bloody birdbath, that’s what. His father pride and joy, chipped from an old lump of concrete and precariously balanced on the stump of the old silver birch. When things got bad, when memories of Bastion’s mother cramped his dad so much he twisted out of shape, they’d go and sit by the laurel and watch as the birds – the wrens and the tits and the sparrows and the finches – came and frolicked, uninhibited in their natural joyousness. Gradually the simplicity of it all would relax his father and untangle his tongue as he told of his beautiful wife and their life before cruel reality snatched her away.
Bastion wiped his nose and straightened, his father’s basso profundo coming to him on a careless wind: ‘Our happy place, our kid’ he’d say.
Bastion strode away, leaving a little of himself in that pool but taking away far more. He headed for the next horizon, at last seeing where he was going.