Ultrathon, a collection of short stories

An extract

Clear Lake

A blue sky is always at a truce with a lake. They are perfect for each other but never last. One changes or get’s  lost  in  the  other;  or  night,  like  a  strict  uncle,  puts  a  stop  to  any  developments.    A  few  nights  ago  you   and I lay down close to my current spot. We had a row of planks supporting our bodies instead of wide ripples  of  water.  I  didn’t  tell  you,  fearing  the  cliché,  but  I  had  never  seen  so  many  stars.  They  made  me   want to return to the cabin and its cosy lamps straight away. All those white pin pricks above the lake and pine tops: the quiet, ridiculous splendour. I stayed. We kept our hands in our pockets but our hips touched. You calmly accepted it all while everything beneath my skin was churning. It was touch and go if I’d  manage  to  keep  myself  from  throwing-up.

I just want to take you to a mountain place

His dog comes from a range of mountains which are very far away, especially from here. The breed has been carefully developed for conditions particular to high places, and this is why the dog is quite happy to live on the 27th floor of a tower block. He would like to visit the place where his dog was born. I would rather he didn’t: he might ask me to care for his dog while he is away and although I like the dog and he likes me, the highlight of being his walker are the occasional moments I see his owner. I have decided to draw the owner’s attention to the high points in his own neighbourhood and this is what occupies me and the dog during our long walks (I think the dog would also prefer his owner to stay).

With thanks to Aqua Books’ Emerging Writer in Residence program and the Manitoba Arts Council Deep Bay Artist Residency program.