By T. J. Dennett
Father found them first, while I was sleeping
through one of his midnight rambles. Creeping
like a fox between hazel and hawthorn,
he overheard – above him – the flutter
of a pheasants wing, and then another,
and then another that flew up airborne
into the night; a helium balloon
that seemed to rise towards the crescent moon
until the whip-crack of a tripwire
sent him spiralling like a spitfire.
He landed with a thud, ankle twisted
and headlamp crushed under the weight of his
fall. He knew there was blood, he could taste it
on the roof of his mouth, and on his lips.
At this point he tried to haul himself up
by his fingers, but wasn’t strong enough.
Hours passed before I found him, by which
time all the pheasants had long since vanished.
As we struggled out of the woods he told
me of his plan. I mentioned the raisins
and the sleeping pills. I swear a lightbulb
shone, momentarily. A flash blazing
like a lightning strike above our heads.
At least that’s what I remember of it.
T. J. Dennett is a writer and performer from Northamptonshire, England. He lives with his wife, daughter and their Labrador.