In the ribboned fog of a February daybreak, dog barks stilt strangely in the dank air. Hoar frost clings to raw-fingered branches and to the tortured holly. What leaves are left from autumn’s mulch sit skeleton and crisp, drifted in between tree roots or huddled at the entrances to abandoned setts. Clouds scud over the lightening sky, looking upon their skulking brethren clinging to the dells and corries below. A time for paperboys and farmers, milk floats and commuters huddled bitter at some rural bus stop. The sensible stay put – the foxes in their underground fugues, the hares in frozen, clod-circled forms.
Matthew Richardson is a writer of short stories. His work has featured in Gold Dust magazine, Literally Stories, Close to the Bone, McStorytellers, Penny Shorts, Soft Cartel, Whatever Keeps the Lights On, Flashback Fiction, Cafelit, Best MicroFiction 2021, Writer’s Egg, Idle Ink, The Wild Word, and Shooter magazine. He is a doctoral student at the University of Dundee, a lucky husband, and a proud father. He blogs at www.matthewjrichardson.com and tweets at https://twitter.com/mjrichardso0