The Promise


By Steven Bruce

The mountain wore a crown of starlight.

‘We made it,’ he told her. They ascended as far as his aged legs permitted.

‘I promised you,’ he said. ‘Eighteen years late, I know, but here we are on a beautiful night.’ And he scattered her ashes, the wind twirling her into the ether.

‘What a life,’ he said, watching a small fishing boat drifting across the bay. He returned to the cabin, drew a hot bath, scraped the grizzled hair from his neck with a straight razor.

At dawn, the sun would rise from the reddish water. The old man wouldn’t.

Steven Bruce graduated from Teesside University in 2018 with a Master’s in Creative Writing. His latest chapbook, The Black Poems (Hunting Raven Press, 2019), is out now.

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