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Karen Millie-James


Black storm clouds gathered ominously overhead as if to signal that the day was destined to be catastrophic, as if it was waiting for the hand of God to reach down and fire the wrath of Hades. That was exactly how Cydney felt as an incredible sense of premonition washed over her and the terrible vision that had repeatedly inhabited her dreams, which she had chosen to banish from her mind, came flooding back.

The crunch of tyres on the driveway shook Cydney from her daydream. This was it. This was the time. It had happened as she knew it would beyond a shadow of a doubt.

She grabbed the sink in front of her with both hands as the blood drained from her head. Everything slowed down as if she was still in her dream and the world had stopped spinning. Cydney removed and folded her gloves and laid them carefully on the side of the sink, trying to delay the inevitable. Turning around, she pulled down the sleeves of her jumper, ran her hands through her hair and walked from the kitchen to the front of the house, her steps slow but sure.

Poised in the hallway, she waited for the doorbell to ring. She took one glance up the stairs towards the twins’ bedroom, relieved to know they weren’t there, and watched through the glass in the front door as a black saloon pulled up outside and two men in brown army uniform stepped out, one wearing captain’s insignia, which she easily recognised. The men straightened down their jackets, placed their caps, glanced at each other and walked towards the house, their steps hesitant. Opening the door, she said nothing. One held out a brown cardboard box towards her, willing her to take it and relieve him of his unwanted charge.

“Mrs Granger?” the other asked.

Cydney stood frozen to the spot. Her mouth wanted to work but if she spoke it would mean finality.

“I’m so sorry, ma’am…”

The words floated in the air as Cydney fell to the ground.

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