Dark Light

“You know the drill, Name, Number, Tone” Beep

It wasn’t a dark, or stormy night.

This was depressing.

“Hi, Chris? It’s Jane”

It was early evening, and the sky was bathed in a golden pink that would cause grown poets to cry. The grass was green, the red-bricked houses either side of him poked out from behind carefully pruned hedge-rows. The last time he had walked down this road he was going to school.

“Listen, please. I know the last few weeks have been tough going”

Far beyond drive-time now, the main road was empty. He had left suburbia behind and was heading into the mild little country lanes beyond. The birds were singing, and the only sound was the light crunch of trainers upon the gravel to the side of the road.

“Losing that job was a blow, I’m sure. But there is something we need to talk about that is more important”

It should have been a dark and stormy night. It deserved lightening, and thunder, and great symphonic crashes and waves. Or, at least, the kind of windy, dark night that makes you glad you’re inside and not out. It deserved depressing weather.


But there wasn’t. There was just the red tinged sky of the early evening (Shepherds delight), and the bright songs of the birds in the trees and the hedge-rows.

“There isn’t really any way I can say this to you, not without hurting us both, and not to your face”

When was the last time anyone had gone down this road? A bridle-path spun off to the right and he took it without thinking. It was overgrown and the path lay somewhere beneath the layers of nettles and thorns, but it was away from there. It. Everything.

“I’ve met someone else”

Somebody else had been here. A rusty can sat in the path, seemingly spat out of the undergrowth as an illegal alien. An undesirable. Surplus to nature’s requirements. He kicked it, and the can went sailing over the remains of the barbed wire fence, landing within the field of corn.

“I feel so stupid talking to an answer phone, but I don’t know where you are, and your mobile is off. You’d like him, you really would. He’s called Dave, he’s got a job at a securities place up in London”

There really wasn’t any point. Not without her. So they hadn’t known each other long, it was sudden. Quick. And it was most certainly too soon to lose her. He remembered the party they had met at, She had already got a boyfriend, but they became friends, and soon it… Blossomed.

“I feel really bad doing this to you, But I just don’t love you enough any more”

There was no way he could have her now. He had her. *They* would get married, and they would have children, and in fifteen years time they would meet again and say “What would life be like if…”.


He found a stream in the woods at the end of the path, and sat by it. Miles from anyone.

“I’ll put the engagement ring in the post. I think it’s better if we never see each other again”

From his jacket pocket, he withdrew a dull metal object, Raised the gun to his temple.

The explosion lifted clouds of birds from the trees.

And, as the explosion rings out across the countryside, and even while the body slumps into the stream, there is a click as the caller hangs up.

And Dave’s body begins to decompose.

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