The chimney puffs out the smoke which falls away to the south-east. Sometimes the wind drops completely and a pale blue cloud collects around the bird cover at the top before a sudden uplift disperses it into the clear cold sky.  The yellow house beneath sits on the valley side complacent. Here I am smoking. What are you going to do about it?

Across the valley, the white house with the blue balcony winks as if a piece of grit from the smoke had got stuck under its eye lid. In the hinterland, the green fields stretch up to the moor. Sheep dot the place as lice on a head.

For one moment the whole world is still. No rustle, no gentle shaking of the trees, no car straining up the hill; even the smoke goes straight up. The scene is set and the audience waits.

A streak across the sky. Black wings whistle past. Silver lines hang suspended in the haze and a two carriage train trundles up the hill.

A sheet flaps at the window of the blue balcony. A hand reaches out to draw it in. The smoke has gone. No trace of blue is filtered by the air.

A body leans out over the blue balcony.

Gulls float inward as the body topples forward onto the car that has just begun its journey out of the depths.

Silence.

Still.

Black wings pass before the sirens begin.

 

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