The Night The World Didn’t End.

There is a deep rumbling and I wake, I turn over and I sit up.

From my position on the edge of the bed, I cast a cold eye outside the steel frame of the window. The panes are filthy with the fumes from decades past and encrusted with the time warn dirt of ages.

Outside the orange sky burns, making a blackened stencil of the city.

The sound of fires and explosions crack. The faint smell of gun powder and sound of screaming carries across the air.

From a fourth floor window I watch the streets over flow.

In the shadows that stretch to the edge of my feet I contemplate the night. The sick unnatural sepia light from the burning streets does not reach me here in the dark.

Tonight is the night of burnt buildings and treason. Before the sun rises over London the palace crumbles, politicians, and prostitutes clutching babies are turned into rumble.

I must remember the sun.

The river bubbles with smoking debris, the clock hands stand at the same small minute and hour, but the bell will no longer chime.

Heretics are burnt at the stake. Opinions and rumours are collected and buried in mass graves.

I must remember the truth.

I must remember to write this down and study it. The same way that the history of countries, or geography, or art should be studied.

The same way I study your anatomy as you lay here next to me.

Softly, breath in, breath out.

Softly; we are here.

Another rumble, that small personal thunder, I watch your lips part and I smile.

What little pains there are flicker as they cross my mind, and expire like the fire works outside – they pop and extinguish.

I must remember.

Tomorrow, perhaps the saucers will come, the earth will erupt under us  and the river will bubble again, like your sister’s rage over cold toast and…

Rumbling again…

In the dim light I see your nostrils flare like roman candles and extinguish like the the cake at a children’s party.

We have perhaps fifty years.

Or thirty.

Perhaps twenty more times to watch the full moon rise.


Maybe less.

Perhaps, if we are lucky we have a few years before the meals in front of us are out numbered by the meals that are behind us.

I must remember to mark each date upon the calendar as if it were an anniversary, or the end of the world.

I must remember.

I turn my eyes back to the window, I push it open and breath in the orange night’s air.

The explosions and cracking have slowed, the yelling has lessened. The revellers and the fireworks are nearly done for another year.

Below the last of those dressed in the ghostly remnants of their ancestors pass by, they do their best to honour the dead and to remember.

Somewhere there is a man with two dogs. One of them lays shivering on the street, the other sits like a sentinel, sharing body heat and warmth with  both of them.

I remember.

I turn back over and close my eyes, there are no more bon fires, there is no more rumbling for now.

The blankets are warm and I no longer shiver.

In the morning, there may be burnt toast, the milk may be finished (or soured) there could even be the black death.

I must remember the truth.

Sitting here at our kitchen table, eating breakfast, I try to remember…