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Part Two of  "Over the Tears of the Fallen"

 

Billy woke to the morning with a shiver, the fire was out, the morning cold and he had not planned on drinking again nor waking with a mist in his head. It was rare now that he drank realising that it was a failing of his, a serious failing. Instead of drinking, most nights, he would sit by himself, quietly on an evening, reading or watching the television and wish to be drinking. When he was drinking he could fall into bed and sleep the sleep of the dead. When sober, as he almost always was these days; he rarely slept. His mind was too active, his thoughts racing and blending, his thoughts, tumbling and imagining and so could not sleep. So even though he had drunk himself into a stupor, last night, a stupor that he loved and had slept for hours on the couch facing the fire he felt guilty.

He had promised himself that he would not be that person anymore. The fool that had lost his wife to a better man.

 

Under a bruised purple sky, roiling black and grey clouds tumbling one over the other like funereal acrobats, performing, in imitation of the clowns in a circus big top. The bright reds and yellows of their facial make up and garish clothing showing for a millisecond between our visions of the cirrocumulus striations and the much lower and heavily rain laced alto-stratus clouds that promise a downpour of old testament proportions.

Thor's thunderheads shoot across the sky and distant bass rumbles meld with the violence of the storm. Grey daemons scurry in the few places where colour is left to live behind this huge screen of funeral purple, dankest grey and oblivion black; chaos. Now incised with jagged bolts of electrical discharge and a whip to the wind what would scourge the skin from your body had you left an inch bare.

A storm was coming, a storm that would strip the branches from the trees, strip the roofs of the sod that held people’s homes firm to the earth, that kept us so close to the earth that we relied upon for our crops, our cattle and even the clothes upon our backs. Yet that storm was one that we had never expected, it would strip away not only our livelihood and living but our flesh from our bones if it had a chance. Yet although no one imagined it at this time, this storm was not coming from the tumbling October sky, it wasn't even coming from that grey, black, man-swallowing sea that lay so close to our homes and fields. The huge black beast that we knew could slay us each and every day with just an intake of its mighty breath and it had taken many of us from day to day and year to year, it had taken us from boats and from the shore,

Stolen children from their beds in the storm of ninety-five, and taken all within a quarter mile of the shore in two thousand and seven. Good people gone for ever to the rampaging monster as so many had before and so many will again. This storm was going to be terrible as most are, it was going to take children with no thought about the pain the parents would feel for the rest of their lives, no thought of the child's last breaths as they are dragged under. The last gasp before water enters their small lungs to cease their expansion and contraction for ever, as that last oxygen goes, the heart stops beating and the most beautiful, the brightest, those loved and those hated all cease to exist forever.

 

Yet that was life in a seaside town, people died, people drowned, People disappeared, that's just the way it worked. The sea snuffed out peoples lives with a practiced ease as it had taken so, so many before it was the fiercest beast when unleashed.

 

More will follow soon.

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