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Under The Lamp-Light, Atop The Hill by Keiron Tonge
SUMMARY: short peice. concerning life and death.
Under The Lamp-Light, Atop The Hill
The hob nailed shoes clicked up the street in the darkness. Lit only by gas lamps and cobbled with worn stone the street stretched long into the night disappearing behind twists and forks and lined by identical houses. All of them two floors tall with pokey cellars covered in brick and walls outside stained with factory smoke. And the only sound to be made was from the shoes and the wind across his ears that clung to the houses and flowed down the road wrapping its arms around the man as he stepped from the warm comfortable house front where he kneeled in the doorway by the street side to tie his shoes. And he wrapped his collar tight around his neck, although it did no good, the thought was enough to suggest warmth. As he set about his journey he looked down upon the pavement and stared at the cobbles. They glistened with moisture from the recent rain. And were lit by the flames flickering from the fronts of the gas lit houses. He was foreign in these streets, he did not belong. But at this time nobody was around to care. Nobody to point or whisper towards the ill shod man in the flat cap and short trousers as he walked through patches of light outside houses and on into the night.
He reached the end of the street after a lifetime of wandering and stood beyond the last house. No longer on cobble between smoke stains and clutching his collar. But staring out across grass into the night. He looked up and over the field and saw on the hill a single bench lit by a gas light. As he looked they seemed too fine an adornment for such a place. But he walked up towards the bench and stopped a few feet from the light. And stood looking at the thin patch of light in the desolation. The bench was made of mahogany. A deep rich wood that was finely polished so that he could clearly see his face on the lip of the seat. The metal sides were wrought from the finest local steel and painted a deep black. The wood held by fine studs which remained unpainted but gleamed with pinpricks of light. And the lamp beside it was even more ostentatious. It was gold. Smooth and no fingerprint was pressed on it to spoil it's perfection.
The man turned to look down on the town. he had never seen a town like this before. Up on the hillside he was alone with this splendid view. The streets were clearly lined by lamps. The rooftops gleamed like polished jet and there was an orange aura that seemed ethereal in the pitch black outside of the golden lamps beams.
"Marvellous" came a voice behind the man.
He turned to see a fine figure behind him. A man of stern feature. He was not rugged but was tall and broad shouldered. Wearing a black suit and tie and crisp white shirt underneath. Atop his sat a marvellous bowler hat and in his hands he held a cane with a gold coated globe for a pommel and a small gold ferule on the bottom that was held so delicately that it did not even bend the grass. The man in the fine suit turned and gestured to the bench sitting down himself on the mahogany with expert posture and a smile among his short thin black moustache.