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(A short story of 1822 words)



by Megan Palmer

An elderly woman takes her wheelchair-bound husband on a mysterious journey at dawn - but why? Transit is a tale of the power of life-long love, set against the incomprehensible vastness of the universe.

The alarm sounds at 3:53am. Technically, it is set for four o’clock in the morning, but Sheila’s life-long habit of setting clocks a few minutes early gives her a small advantage against the rising sun. She draws herself up in the darkness and takes in a deep breath before rousing her husband, Richard. As he wakes his blinking eyes look startled and glassy in the grey dawn light.

‘What time is it?’ he asks.

‘It’s early.’ She replies softly, before switching on the bedside lamp. He does not react. She adds more firmly, ‘Come on, love, you don’t want to miss it, do you?’ Richard looks at her face vacantly. Does he remember, she wonders? She pulls on her warm clothes as quickly as she can, and runs her fingers through her practically-cut, silver-grey hair. There is no time to worry about appearances. She crosses to his side of the room and helps him to manoeuvre himself into an upright, sitting position. She edges his shoes onto his feet, pulls a fleeced jumper over his head and feeds his arms into its sleeves. His body is heavy and barely responsive, although he holds himself upright – he has some sovereignty left in his muscles...

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