Something quite different

A grey day after a spell of sun. Dark heavy clouds, but the farmers talk of a drought, the rain won’t come.

Your daily two-hour walk along the public footpaths and farmers’ roads, between ditches and razed copses littered with shredded branches and shrubs. A bare tree here and there. You startle a deer. It jumps over the stumps, surprisingly bony and powerful: something quite different. The deer in turn scares a flock of crows that wheel cawing over the field.

A huge charred tree, split by lightning.

The desolation of the everyday. What else can the everyday be for you? The ruination of all plans. That which wipes out the path behind and in front of you.

At the edge of a field you come across a strange sight: a dead pigeon tied to the arm of a mechanical device, moving in a circle. ‘I’ll never shoot no pigeons with you standing there, mate.’ You whirl round and see a man with a shotgun, disguised behind the thicket. You say sorry and move on. Crossing private land as you make for the road, you hear a shot ring out.

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