Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Man number one, bald, six foot three, drifts from the shadow of the shop threshold and looks up four storeys to the tenement opposite. Lady number one approaches the edge of the balcony as though it is not there. Tired, she bends down, disappearing for a moment from the view of those on the street, but not from the view of the seven pigeons crowded onto the top of the curved street lamp that arches out like a rib. Then, momentarily she reappears, a diver returning to the surface with a pearl in her hand, but it is not a pearl, it's a small laundry bag.

The woman opens her mouth slightly revealing yellowing, tridirectional teeth and flings the bag into the air some six feet from her third floor vantage. Behind it a trail of green garden twine traces the vector, slackening as gravity quickens the fall of the laundry bag certain to hold something inside.

The man strikes out in a straight line across the traffic-less cobbles, above him the twine tightens, the twine stiffens, alert to its occupation the twine redeems the flight of the bag which lands softy and immaculately into the barely outstretched arms of man number one, who gathers the windfall without breaking stride. Lady number one is no longer on the balcony as man number one removes the key from said laundry bag, switches his glance from left to right and back again before entering the block opposite letting the enormous green glass-paned door swing loudly shut behind him.

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