Early morning

Porch light in the early morning © Tanya Clarke 2019

Porch light in the early morning © Tanya Clarke 2019

Writing Prompt No. 19

The warm yellow glow from the light in the porch lay around his face illuminating the folds of skin that hung heavily under his eyes.

He hadn’t slept for three days too afraid of what might be heading his way. All the birds had died, suddenly, over the course of one day. They fell from the sky landing in all the gardens surrounding them. There was no bird song, or squawking or hammering of woodpeckers. Usually one or two eagles circled high overhead calling to each other above the wind.

His wife had left the town for safety, taking their children with her. He said he would stay. Their dog had gone missing. He was certain he would turn up if he stayed.

The moon shone brightly, its light given space by the slow moving cloud. Not quite full. There was three more days to go. A tiny sound made the skin on the back of his neck prickle. The snap of something he couldn’t discern. Out from the gloom of the early morning walked his neighbour lighting a cigarette with his silver zippo lighter.

“Jesus. Didn’t see you there.”

His neighbour said nothing. He walked on passed the house.

“Jackson?” he said, “Jackson?” A little louder that time. Nothing. Jackson didn’t turn his head. A little way behind him walked his dog his eyes wide with fear.

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