Beyond the pier I watch two men as they repaint the end wall of the new apartment block a startling orange.
‘It’s the geese,’ explains a voice behind me. ‘The block has been built in their established flight path. On a dull day, or in the half-light of dusk, the geese think the grey wall is sky, and they fly into it.’
I know that it’s you without turning round.
I have replayed that winter evening a hundred times. A goose had landed on the bridge, stunned after clipping a streetlight. As the skein flew on down the river, it staggered, bewildered, caged in by railings and relentless traffic. It had no runway.
You walked towards me and our eyes met. Without a word you took off your coat and threw it over the bird. We lifted it swiftly to the top of the railing, held it steady for only a moment, and then stood back. As it took off, its wings and underbelly were up-lit by the street lamps, aglimmer against the darkening sky. We smiled, suddenly a little awkward, and mumbled a few words before walking on.
Our flight paths momentarily crossed, our wing tips almost touched, but we did not collide. And since then I have thought of you often; my bird man. I have carried your voice in my head.
And when I turn I can see you have thought about me too. This time we will collide; even if to crash and burn.
That's it for this year's FlashFlood! Huge thanks again to our writers, our readers, our editors , and everyone who submitted work....
We'd like to mark the end of 2020 with a little celebration of this year's FlashFlood writers. Congratulations to the following wri...
A shaft of sunlight fell across the worn herringbone floor, drawing his gaze upwards to the flawless blue sky beyond the row of windows, ...
The next FlashFlood will take place National Flash-Fiction Day 's 10th Anniversary, next mass-writing event taking place on 26 June 202...