Short Term

We played a game of word twist my late husband and I, and now his name is
yellowing and paper-thin, surfacing as a password for some site, and I have
shortened the tale for this person or elongated it for another until it seems like
a movie, a fantasy, one in which characters fade to wallflowers, and on my
desktop, an image of an arctic tern, a migratory bird that even tracks its way
from Norway to Australia, is a photo taken on his Mamiya, digitalised, and
displayed for another part of another password, but then I awake to answer a
text from my son which asks if we are too late.

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Girija Tropp’s fiction has been appearing in ELJ and New World Writing recently. Her work has also made its way into several Best Australian Short Stories editions, and has been published in The Boston Review, Agni, and various other journals. She has won or been short-listed for major awards. She lives in Australia.