I saw up ahead the articulated trailer of a lorry jack-knife out in front of the scaffolding truck, the truck’s brake lights igniting in glowing red against the mist of spray. The roof of the scaffolding truck’s front cab crumpled against the trailer and the flapping high visibility jacket move slowly towards me, in my direct line of sight, as I pumped the brakes.
His appeals fell on deaf ears as the captain, having waded till the water was at his waist, hurled the boy into the sea and made his way back to the shore. The boy tried to follow, but a horridly disfigured entity emerged from behind him, wrapping its blue, tattooed arms around him and sinking its teeth into the boy’s neck. He wriggled and fought, screamed and cried as loud as he could, but as the blood drained from his body, he felt limp from one limb to the other, his voice choked back by the blood gurgling in his throat.
She took a moment to stare at herself in the reflection of the glass door of the car. The beat-up Volvo showed a pair of iridescent green eyes – the kind of eyes you would see on a lonely stretch of road, caught for the briefest second in the beams of a car before the animal darted off into the brush. Agatha blinked and her irises returned to their normal dark brown. Control was becoming to her like the quails that darted between the cacti of the Arizona desert irresistibly chase-able, inevitably elusive.
The mirror from the antique shop suited Ania’s studio apartment perfectly. It was a large gothic Victorian mirror with ornate black swirls around the centred glass. It only cost her £100. Alf, the man who sold it to her, knocked £50 off the asking price. He said it was too big an item for most people, so he’d drop the price for Ania to take it off his hands. Alf spun a similar yarn to every customer, and it was effective. Alf even offered for him and his nephew, Will, to deliver it the next day.
The warm orange glow of the street lights complemented the humdrum of the city that had just woken up to flashily dressed youngins who graced every liquor store in sight, trying to find the cheapest happiness they could, all encountering disapproving elders that mused on the waywardness of the youth of today while visiting the said establishments.
Amber and scarlet leaves danced on the ground, stirred up by a Southern wind. I pulled my cardigan closer around me. Always a woman who dressed for the season, I had a large collection of cardigans specially selected for the fall. But that’s not exactly important. I took a deep breath. The fresh, autumn scent had a calming effect.