He had taken his commission in the army to please his father and impress hers. Now, a year later, she was receiving scatter-shot letters from sun-burnt outposts. Heat-stroked, perhaps, when last he wrote. Wrote of marriage, then to Canada! He is to take a commission with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. While she creates hearth and home in the wilderness. The paper slips from her fingers, and floats to the floor.

There it remains, a dry reminder of a once vibrant relationship. She is not of the wild made. There are other officers with posts more suited to her tastes. Meanwhile, he dreams of the deep northwestern forests in the glare of the midday sun. The cool touch of her hand upon his forehead. The sweet taste of her smooth lips against his cracked, parched ones. That she does not write back is of no consequence. He has sunk to survival mode; he lives on fantasies and ephemera. Dreams as his bones lay bare in the midday sun.

Thanks to Louise of the storyteller’s abode for the wonderful image for fffaw challenge #91! (29.11.16)