There was a haze around the street lights. Summer was making its ghostly exit, tiptoeing away backstage, cheating us of a curtain call. Mikhael turned the corner towards the canal. Stopping at the railing, he gazed for a moment at his reflection in the copper-coloured water. His heart felt like it had had all the love wrenched out of it, leaving behind a crater, all the roots exposed and vulnerable. He tried to remember the good times, dressed them in the finest linen and richly embroidered silk as the moon grinned ironically through the trees on the far bank. He walked on. The first drops of rain began to fall.
The bracken crunched in protest as he negotiated the small copse at the top of the lane. Gossamer threads quivered delicately in the air. Orange leaves hung in clusters, waiting to fall. He opened the door, walked in and turned on the tap. The water spat into the glass. Retrieving an oil lamp from the shelf, he switched on the radio and perched on the edge of his bed. The lamp projected a jerky yellow light on the wall as he listened to the music. The words of a song infiltrated his thoughts:
“I’m tossed upon the sea of life
And all the charts are lost
And when the dove returns to me,
I’ll get the same report.”
Beads of rain sluiced down the window. A pang of despondency overcame him as he reflected on his self-imposed exile.
“With listing ship I search for land;
The sails look sad and torn.
The compass cannot offer me
Safe passage through the storm.”
He did not hear the dull thud outside. Feathers strewn on the tarmac. Rain water glistening on glass shards from a wing mirror.
This story is included in a collection of short stories entitled ‘Stirring The Grass and Other Stories’, available in paperback and Kindle formats:
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