I jolted awake at the sound
of the sirens, as they wailed past my window,
sat bolt upright in bed
counting emergency service vehicles,
three of them: one red, one white, one blue,
tires screeching frantically around the tight cobbled bends
as they ascended, at break-neck speed, into the clouds
which hung low across the stark winter valley.
I found myself a comfortable observatory, and peered out
into the dolorous night. I encountered a terrible scene,
a cloud bank, above the hilltops, glowing Halloween orange
like a jack-o'-lantern, leering, out of place, and below,
the Red House, fierce, ablaze, a boat grave cut adrift in a
charcoal storm. I watched on, morbidly curious, as the valley flashed,
as the lights cast out, into the ocean, as they arrived at their
destination, too late, as they returned, sombre,
silent now, a procession of three, transporting four bodies,
each one swathed in innocent white linen,
into the darkness, into the headlines
of tomorrow's tragic newspapers.
About the author:
Benjamin Smith grew up in Hebden Bridge, UK. He has spent the past four years travelling and is currently exploring Chile. His work has previously appeared in: Menacing Hedge, PIF, The Recusant, The Cannon's Mouth, The Empty Mirror, and The London Grip.