Ant Smith

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Slapshot 3 - Neighbourhood watch

Polo tube falls apart and I have a pocket full of sugary holes intermingle-mixed with small coins and other bits of dreary debris. Rizla packet falls apart and clusters of sulphite lined paper wings flutter to the ground. Pen dries up and leaves nothing but scratchy marks. Lungs cough up phlegm and blood. Cups run dry. I sigh. It's a dirty, dirty, fragile kind of day.

Some days begin with menace and then they end in shame. Some days play it the other way. I'm staring out my window at reflections in the rain. I watch the school pervert watch the kids at play. I watch the crossing lady wonder what to say; and the angry motorists held up on their way. And in the stormy autumn day the pelican gently sways. It's a dirty, dirty, fragile kind of day.

Then across the street a movement out of beat. Something unexpected, unusual, out of the ordinary, not normal, simply weird.

It starts with a single slate at number thirty eight, slipping from the roof. Brought down by the persistent rain. These houses are getting on for a hundred years old. Built to northern European weather expectations of the twentieth century. Not to typical forty days of biblical torrents over and over and over again. A single slate , slip, slither sliding and tipping over the exaggerated drains bolted on in a futile attempt to adapt, evolve to change and yet to still remain the same. I watch it tumble towards the ground.

But then nothing. No fragile splintering shattering smash. For a moment I wonder, did it fall on grass. But then I remember, grass is a phenomena of a phenomenal past. The tile blinked, completely from existence. Looking to the roof I see a beautiful twinkling patchwork quilt of that that yet still is and that which never did exist. But this house is no empty shell.

The body count is six. Or would be if there would be bodies left to count. But that's not the nature of The Blink. Pam and Dave. Siblings Britney, Courtney, Alex and gale. I scratch out the phonemes of their names with a pen with no ink, embossing the page of the ledger. An almost runic form intended to withstand the oblivion of The Blink. To preserve this once great civilization of man. Minus six, October eleven twenty eleven. Four million nine-hundred and thirty seven thousand seven hundred and seventy five remain, worldwide.

The shadowless penumbra seeps outwards, leaving in its wake a hole in the memory of those who'd ever cared to look upon this place, and a rune in a book that may or may not survive. Until, I am the Cheshire Cat. But with a blank expression on my face. With no support to hold it there in its right and rightful time and place, as I too become a victim of The Blink. With no one who remembers me enough to scratch my name. I sigh. It's a dirty, dirty, fragile kind of day.