The sun was just beginning to dip below the horizon as the sky takes on the twilight hues of burnt oranges and across the air, the scent of coal embers spiralled out of the chimney pots in wisps of bluish grey. Old Bill has just arrived home from his work. His ageing face hardened by graft of toiling in the heat of the foundry hour after hour, day after day.
Each day he returns to the silent embrace of the house he has called home for more than 25 years. Long gone are the shrill squeals and bickering of his daughters. They now have children of their own. Tessa, the eldest, has three, two boys and a girl, while Bren has four, two girls and twin boys.
As the pan bangs on to the range Old Bill recalls how his Meg would have been frying eggs as he came home. For two long years, she had been gone. The last epidemic of TB had got her. The customary note of condolences from the foundry owners had been cast into the fire without being opened. Everyone knew it was the pollution from the foundry that kept bringing TB and condolences meant nothing. As Bill sipped the tea he could taste it, tainted water is tainted water no matter how hard it boils.
© JG Farmer 2018
Form: Free Write