Sunday, 21 June 2009


Rock encrusted with dead grass and moss. Dry, brittle, a tired, old scene of late summer, the harsh buzzing of insects, the heat heavy on the soil. Brakeman leans over the wooden fence and pulls the flask of warm, brackish water to his lips. He sips gratefully and with a grimace, his lips and tongue flickering like a pale amphibian to stop any of it escaping.

His throat feels like it will work again and he coughs, gently.

"What are you doing?" He asks.

The boys stare at him, a mixture of awe and fear. Brakeman is the stuff of their nightmares, fed up on half-heard tales of vengeance whispered amongst the older kids.

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