The towers were tall and their gaze was all-encompassing.  Yet they did not see everything.

Under the bedsheets – not every night, but most nights when fatigue didn’t’t demand I lay the day’s nightmares to rest – I worked after my toil.  With no light, just by feeling my way, I used a needle and thread to bind together patches of dark cloth that I had in secret ripped from the wrappings of the dead.  They had no longer had any use for garments.  I used the needle to bind together the patches to make one large dark cloth.

I hid the cloth under my coat and dropped it on the ground outside my hut on the way to work.  Being dark, dirt-coloured, none of the spying eyes above perceived it.

Khalil trudged to my hut after our day’s travail in the fields, shovelling piles of Earth from one side of the pit to the other.  He brought the collection in a bag hidden under his hat.  He laid down his hat with its secret bounty outside my hut, just by the dirt-coloured cloth, and he stepped inside my home for what we knew may be the last time.

I started writing this on a bus journey across the UK after I saw several tall cooling towers.  I was thinking of 1984 and of hope as I wrote this. This is just the first half of the story.  I will publish the end along with other short stories on Amazon later this year.


About catherinehume

Catherine Hume: Writer, social care worker and a liver of a life less ordinary.
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