The Game

brown tiger in walking gesture

The frustrated tiger paces the river bank. His padded feet imprint the sandy earth. A walking stick, polished and lifeless has been left where the water meets the land and two leather sandals, placed side by side, point to footprints that spring off into the stream.

The black water mirrors the foliage that fringes the passage it carves through the jungle. Somewhere in its depths, a naked body slides like a fish, feeling the smooth play of wet along its limbs.

She lies amongst reeds, waiting for the sunset and shadow body of the tiger to disappear back into the forest from whence it came.

With a final sniff of the warm air and a humming growl, the tiger walks back between trees in search of another game.

The swimmer emerges, hair, wet and long, hanging in strands to her shoulders. The droplets drip off her as she salutes the sun, each bead magnifying the sunlight on to the surface of her skin.

The cool, velvet silt of the river floor squeezes between her toes.

She sits on a sun-warmed rock and waits until the ripples still and the river becomes a flawless mirror once again.