Monday, 24 September 2018

Round 39.


Lying on its back at the side of the road, a hedgehog waits for someone to care.

The driver of a grey Clio stops and gently lifts the lifeless body and lays it even more gently in the long grass.

The hedgehog’s body is still warm and a heart shaped drop of blood remains on the driver’s hand.

He stops and looks at it.

In form, the heart is perfect: the brightness of the colour shocking and though absent, the soul of the hedgehog can only smile.

The man sits in the car and takes a tissue from the half empty packet his daughter has left in the glove compartment.

He wonders why he never seems to have tissues in his pocket and yet his daughter always does.

And he wonders where she is today; Montpellier? Paris?

He can’t remember.

He also wonders why he never sees live hedgehogs these days.

Then he looks in the rear view mirror, switches on the CD player and drives off.

Bob Dylan in signing.

In the lonely night….

It’s morning; the sun has only recently risen and not many people are on the road; though that hadn’t saved the hedgehog.

The man is driving south and the sun is warm on his arm, which rests on the ledge of the open window.

He looks at the heart-shaped stain and the otherwise pure whiteness of the tissue sitting on the empty passenger seat.

And then he looks at the road ahead.

There is a softness to the day that is beginning; the road winds through the forest and the morning sun is patterning the leaves with a labyrinth of shadows.

There are shadows in his thoughts too.

The shadows are soft; they are almost memories, happy memories, and sad memories, maybe just longings.


He decides to leave them there, in the shadow of the shadows - far away, close at hand.

Like the hedgehog.

(yep - late again, sorry the editor)

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