Lone wire


The chickens had gotten out again. Their thin wire fence now sagged, harshly torn in two places. He sighed and hopped on his motorbike under the low gray morning sky. Releasing his breaks he switched into neutral to silently roll down the windy roads of Shillong to the market. He bought new wire to re-fence the yard and headed back up the hill just as the monsoons rains began to pour. When he arrived home he sat inside with his family drinking hot tea, drying off until the rain subsided.

He ripped up the fence quickly, thinking of how much time had passed since he had first put in the fence. His wife at the time was pregnant with their first child less than a year after their marriage. He threw the aged stakes and wire aside and began re-fencing the yard. As the downpour began again, he ran to the front of the house to throw the wire out of sight on the roadside.

A man noticed the old wire on his way to pick up his wife, carefully collecting it to use along his vegetable garden. They hadn’t had any ripe tomatoes that season with wild animals freely coming into the yard. When he arrived to pick up his wife she chided him immediately, insisting the wear and rust had made it unusable. They argued for several minutes before finally tossing the wire on the side of the road. Their voices faded as they rode off, and the tangled wire stayed against the crumbling wall. It settled into the background in the monsoon rains, throughout the seasons, alongside the comings and goings of the small hilly town.

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