Silhouettes huddled against the flames, our molten sky, our news story.
Now do you see?
I had kept watching from my third story panorama all evening. August gleaned every building block frail white and grey until the first black puffs of arson waved on the horizon.
London Road is burning down, burning down,,,
The flyover and two narrow streets were our cordon. The TV dished out unrest of cars set alight east of the city but social media barked out violence the reporters ignored miles from the scoop. Police never come out unless it’s rape or murder and no one here calls the Police despite years of sirens.
They won’t come this way…..
The mad silent girl entered my room, unusually coherent, to look at the smoke and tell me there’s another fire to my right and now we are cornered. In daylight there was no difference other than those black abstract plumes.
And Primrose was not back from work. She called herself princess and lived in the lounge, spoke in whispers and snored like a pig. She wouldn’t have known the danger to cross.
And then the messages trickled from somewhere all transport had stopped.
Across the road I climbed the stairs to the flyover into a video game of helicopters and near by explosions. Children, nothing more then shoulder height boys, strutted past masked up tooled up without a care in their steps.
Smoke hid the church, have they burnt the church? Walking over the roads arch down into the black.
And then the bus blew up.
“We have to get to…,”the young couple with a baby ask in the dusk, “We crossed the park the trams have stopped.”
“Lady don’t go up there….your baby, no the west is gone too.”
Teenagers told reporters they were showing the rich people and police they can do what they like. So you burn and loot and attack like Mr Hyde on your purest crack, the poorest streets where a baby is stranded in smoke?
Night hid the smoke but opened its anarchic arms to vomit fire. Maybe the heat would kill the germs of the place..
I packed, I bagged up the important things. I put towels in the sink and under the door.
And I sat on the desk at the window of the slum and watched those outlines of people watching the neighbourhood burn.
The thin, dirty panes were like cigarette burns on my knuckles and would rattle with each new explosion.
Every friend with a car was sent begging letters for escape but no answer came.
See it now?
It was a relief. All those years of filth and crime, now everyone could see. The scum had lit a beacon on the Abyss.