Patrolling Wire Borders

Along the stretch of border that had been drawn by hand across the region’s most fractured range of mountains, where passes were small and numerous like gaps between teeth in a wide, twisted mouth, Alfric guarded the narrowest of spaces. Here the precious, holy border was defended by eight lengths of wire stretched between hooks hammered into the rocks.

There was no-one standing guard on the other side of the wires, though an old cow would occasionally visit to rub itself against the wires and take sugar from Alfric. Alfric thought the absence of a counterpart showed their neighbours, corrupt and covetous as they were, did have at least an ounce of sense.

His reveries were interrupted by the clanking of a bell. It was his cow coming for a treat. He stood and dug the sugar he had wrapped in a tissue out of his pocket.

She came around the corner at a trot, her low udders swinging out to the sides as she clopped towards Alfric. She licked the sugar off his hand which he then wiped on her muzzle before scratching between her ears.

“How are you, old girl?” he asked. He quizzed her about the hillside she pastured on, the other cows. She turned and rubbed herself against the wires.

A man dressed for the mountains and carrying a long stick appeared behind the cow. Alfric looked at his rifle leaning against the rocks opposite him. Would it be rude to grab it? The cowherd never looked at him. He whistled and struck the cow to turn it around and herded it back along the pass.

The weather was turning cold when Alfric found a parcel of coarse paper under the wire. Inside were three thick steaks. He pushed his cap back and scratched his head. The white streaks of fat running through the meat told him nothing.

This story is taken from Words For Music For Films, which is a collection of short stories inspired by the tracks of Brian Eno’s album Music For Films. Read this story along with the sound track.

Who wrote this?

I’m a Sydney Copywriter who occasionally tweets. When I’m not sharing practical tips, like the best short form writing tool ever, I like to pen the occasional rant, and convert Brian Eno tracks into text.