Glancing out at the pale blue sky punctuated with fluffy puffs and wisps of cloud, not quite defined enough to paint the pictures her mind is used to pulling from the squally shapes that balloon in and out as the wind chases them across the sky. She looks again at the face of the watch she had hovered over at the discount shop in the DFO mall wondering what could have possessed her to pay good money for a timepiece missing the numerals I III and X. She stares at it closely wondering if her eyes are playing up, squinting at it again, wondering anew how a sealed unit could suddenly let these numbers escape. Are they journeying across the universe drumming up numbers for a siege to free the others from the constant movement of the second hand? How can time crumble like this, will she look in an hour and find the VI has voted with its feet and marched away to another niche in time.
She smiles almost fondly at the space left by these markers of time and thinks about whether her own time has been well spent. Her eyes fix through the glass window panes on leaves blowing pendulously from the bow of a gum tree, the tips tinged a yellowing green as though paying homage to an autumn that will never come to this lush subtropical gully. Birds chirrup endlessly in a cheerful backdrop, a cacophony of sound that wells then blooms into a cackle of laughter, ebbing and flowing with the breeze, never quite still. Her ears prick as a discordant cry echoes through the trees, it reminds her of the sounds of koala’s mating in the dark silky night when she lived close to their foraging route, she listens more intently, laughs, recognizing the rhythm, the crescendo of excitement, not some lyrebird mimicking the koala’s mating song then, just the youth next door luxuriating on a warm Sunday afternoon strumming his girlfriend into a frenzy.