Crow's nest

In Deep Cove, North Vancouver 2018

In Deep Cove, North Vancouver 2018


The bird picked its way through the tree, its claws curving over the thin branches for balance.

There was a stench of rotten fish that groped and prodded everything in its path. Nothing could escape its grasp. Cohen held a piece of cloth to his mouth and nose but the smell was woven into the fabric. He coughed hard and somehow managed to suppress his gag reflex. His eyes stung with the effort. Dead fish floated to the surface of the lake, fat and bloated with decay.

Just beyond stood the factory. Quiet. Haunted. Birds nested in the eaves sending their shit down the walls. The manufactured poisons had had no filter to stop them being washed away down into the water supply. Every droplet carried enough toxin to kill the town.

The first person to die thought they’d caught a cold. A snivelling, dripping wet nose, watery eyes, a raised temperature. After three days they laid in a hospital bed, the rattle of death loud and deep in their chest.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.