Monday 4 April 2016


Another piece of flash fiction. This one was published in the Fish Anthology 2013.
For details of the Fish Competitions, courses etc see link


I  never knew for sure what woke me. The sound of car tyres screeching towards Coalisland or the pick pock of pebbles thrown at a window? A hand gripped my chest. My own. And coexistent with the hand and the pebbles and the screech, a silence as of snow; a blanket of it thrown over the street. And through the silence and the sound of receding, spluttering exhaust pipe I sensed the presence of aftermath.

I threw back the woollen blanket and slipped my bare feet onto the vinyl floor. Foot soles arched. Pit pat towards the bedroom window, elbows cupping hunched shoulders. My finger on the venetian blind that clicked as it dipped and shaped itself into an eye.

Outside on the street someone lay slumped over the steering wheel of an Austin Cambridge; his head was bowed as if in prayer. The car horn wasn’t blaring; it should have been. Below me our next- door neighbour Wee Johnny, was stepping over his gate; not taking time to open it.

Pebbles. Tyres screeching. A figure slumped over a steering wheel. A car askew. And silence; but not the silence of snow.

I didn’t see Wee Johnny open the car door and release the body of Andrew Kirk from his bowed embrace.

When I opened the front door I saw him standing in the ragged gap in the hedge that separated our row of houses from the street, where others like me were hovering on door sills. Silence engulfed everything as we watched his arms, raised and flapping, telling us to back off.

Then someone turned up the volume and the waving arms told their story. The pebbles thrown had been gun shots. Andrew Kirk lay riddled in them. And the Troubles weren’t about to end anytime soon.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

1 comment:

  1. I'm lost for words - this is so beautiful and sad.