I am familiar with this floor. The tiles are never spotless, there are always footprints, paw prints and coal dust. I’m familiar with these shoes too, which were shiny red patent leather several years ago. Now they’re scuffed, creased, cracked and stitched together where I’ve worn the heel down – and tiny stones get trapped in the holes in the soles and make strange clicking noises as I walk around.
Sunlight bleeds through the bleached wood blind backlighting a haze of dust. Each particle rises and falls, percolating through the warm kitchen air until it meets a flat surface. A cool draught flows under the door causing more dust to rise up. A cloud passes in front of the sun, and the air clears.
Three goldfish locked in icy synchronicity hang in a dark corner of the pond. Their mouths break the surface water, emitting bubbles that burst in the cold air. A blackbird pecking at the moss on the stone edge above, spots them, then flies away.