Afternoon Sun

We lay in the grass with the sun on our stomachs and watched the clouds scud over the eaves of the house, never to return.

Susan reached out a lazy hand and pulled on a long piece of grass, tsking under her breath when she couldn’t quite snap it off clean, and had to yank on it to pull it up out of the earth, chunks of dirt still clinging to its tiny roots. She stripped them clean with her other hand and closed one eye against the sun to inspect it properly. Satisfied with its cleanliness, she tucked the end between her teeth and bobbed it up and down. The other end danced crazily around and she giggled.

‘Ain’t around these parts, are ya?’ she intoned at me in a mock Texan drawl, a cowgirl flat on her back in the noonday sun.

‘I should say not!’ I proclaimed in my lordliest tones, and she giggled again, before scooting over to place her body closer to mine. The least I could was oblige her by raising my arm to let her rest her weight against my chest, and then lay my arm back down across her side.

‘I’m so glad she died,’ she said suddenly, in the quiet lull of the wind.

I had been waiting for something like this for days.

‘Uh-huh,’ I said, cautiously, non-commitally.

‘Yeah,’ Susan said. ‘She was a mean woman, and if her dying means that we get the house, and we get to sell it, and we get the money from it… then I’m glad she’s dead.’

I turned my head to smell her hair, which was summer and spring and green things in the afternoon.

‘As long as you’re happy,’ I said. ‘It’s all that matters to me.’

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Simon Smithson

Simon Smithson is an Australian writer who dreams of escaping from this prison continent. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, in print and online. He loves the Oxford Comma, or ‘list comma’ as it is sometimes known in less formal circles. He loves it like he loves TV, books, and the internet. He is currently enjoying writing for

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