Flower lampost by Robert John

Velvet

At a window she sits. Limbs so curled they touch, the pillow on the window seat too loved to be of any use. Clouds gather; bulge over bulge that colours the world in shade, the sky tucked away. She reaches for a blanket and pulls it to her chin, holds the grey wool tight as if trying to get inside.

On the street below people rush, scattered dice on concrete that hop, hop, hop. She wonders what they go home to, where night takes them when doors close and blinds drop. One by one lights flicker on, lamp-posts that line the street humped as candy canes. Her head feels heavy, worn by the claws that endlessly pace. She takes the flower she picked, the purple already seeping away to another place and holds it to the glass. It glows, through tear-shaped petals soft as velvet. A light blow makes it sway, back and forth, forth and back. Night gathers its cloak and closes in.

First published in RE:Imagined a collection of 14 photographs that inspired 14 great works of poetry and flash fiction. Available to buy on Lulu at http://bit.ly/XH5seH and Amazon at http://amzn.to/1tqyevq. All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to help the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Clodagh O'Brien’s story.