Wild Geese over Radcliffe

‘What was he doing?’ I ask Mark.

‘No idea,’ he replies. ‘Just staring.’

The next morning Joe and Mark are down for breakfast before me. Joe is mashing his habitual Weetabix into its usual pulp. The walking stick again rests over a drawer handle, threatening to be forgotten.

‘He said he thought he heard burglars,’ says Mark.

‘But he doesn’t hear anything,’ I say.

Joe starts making a cup of tea. Naturally, he has no idea we are talking about him.
The cat bounds in suddenly, moaning and squawking about something. The there’s another noise. At first I don’t recognise it but then I’d swear I can hear voices. Human voices. Joe’s probably left his television on again. But they seem to be getting louder and clearer. Someone coming along the street, then?

The noise gets much louder. The cat goes berserk.

Joe suddenly looks up.

Then we see them. The flock of beautiful wild geese, flying in a V formation made up of three other V formations, cutting a pattern into the plain blue sky, making it all look effortless. They’re chattering away.

‘There they go,’ said Joe. ‘That must have been what I heard last night.’

He shuffles towards the lounge.

‘Do they fly at night?’ I ask, guessing that they probably don’t and knowing that I didn’t hear them anyway.

‘What did you say?’ asks Joe, handing me the pad and the pen. ‘You know I can’t hear a bloody thing.’

Gill James writes for children and young adults, as well as short stories for adults. She teaches creative writing at the University of Salford. http://gilljames.blogspot.com/

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One Response to “Wild Geese over Radcliffe”

  1. January 26, 2009 at 9:22 am, Judy said:

    sweet – made me smile


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