Carving in Space – Olivia Buck

The snow at the bottom of my boots looks like powdered sugar. Just a big fuckin’ pastry.
Can’t tell if the drops on my face are melted ice or tears or snot but it’s fine I’m going to keep
going.

The hill up to the apartment is impossible. The white that coated the streets has turned a crusty
shade of brown. Or grey. Words always get more neutral in winter.

The street sign is missing at the top. It was stolen at some point, as a prank probably. Straight
Street—I mean.

There’s a lump up ahead, right in the gutter, caked in grimy slush. I stop a few feet in front of it.
There’s fur clumped up around the ends of it. It’s twitching, like someone is trying to shock it
back to life with those emergency room paddles, but no one is.

I take a few steps forward. The residences around look empty. Lights extinguished behind the
curtains of the windows, not a sound except for the wind against the pavement and the dried up
trees. The lump shivers slightly.

A pasty mask, connected to a crushed up torso, a long tail sticking out onto the road. Its eyes
still open.

Maybe it’s the gin in my throat, maybe it’s the smoke on my fingers, but I sit down next to it. It
doesn’t see me.

The light from the moon is casting shadows on my hands. But this is the best time. All the light is
a creature-light. The lump shivers again, and I see the head turn to look up at the moon. I turn
mine to look at it too. It’s almost full.