Here is an excerpt from Jonathan D. Young’s upcoming project, Bristol Pavements.
This is part one of this series, it is called “Homecoming”
Dolores turned down that once familiar street. That old street of her youth. As her heels clicked against the cobblestone beneath, she thought of her childhood forgotten. The lamp lights passed as she traversed that old way. As she looked in their warm light, she could almost see a younger version of herself. This was once her home, and she had finally returned.
Dolores turned another corner. To her surprise, the street before her was bathed in darkness. There was not one streetlight on. There was not a candle or a fire burning. There was not even a novel electric light. There was only a chilling blackness that made Dolores’s hair stand on end. She felt a strange wind blow her hair around her neck. She shot a look behind her, but there was no one there. A raspy cackle ripped through the smoky night sky. She turned around to see where the voice had come from, but she found no one. She looked with hard concentration in the deep shadows of the street but saw nothing. Her heart was beating fast now. There was another cackle. Her eye grew big, and her breath grew short. There was laugh after laugh. The voice seemed closer now. Dolores screamed in her utter terror but was silenced by the cold pale hand on her rose-colored lips. “Why isn’t tonight just lovely, Mrs. Atwood?”
Dolores always remembered fondly the days of her youth. She remembered days when the cherry blossoms were in bloom. At a time when the air was warm and the river cool. It was such a simpler time. This was not a vision of Bristol, her forever home. These were memories of her summers in the country. Her summers at her grand mum’s house. She spent many summer nights there. Nights of goodness, love, and rest. Those days with Harry, her forever love. She remembered when they would sit on the grass and talk about Shakespeare plays. Harry would swear that Macbeth was superior in writing and craft, however Dolores was against such fantasies. “Hamlet is far superior.” she would argue. They fell in love this way, through these conversations. She missed him dearly, along with those simple days. It was a time before sickness. It was a time before age and decay. With everything inside her, she wished to go back to that. It appeared however, that it was no longer possible. Her end was close at hand, just as Harry’s once was. Today was last.