A Cold Collation by Abigail Wyatt

October 22, 2012 Comments Off on A Cold Collation by Abigail Wyatt

‘It is no more than our duty,’ one of them said and my heart froze inside me.  They approached me deliberately: a steady gaze, a series of slow, measured steps. In their leader’s face I saw no trace of menace but something that was almost affection.  He gave the impression that, at any moment, he might offer me avuncular advice.

He was slightly built, of medium height, and the very picture of elegance.  He wore a dove-grey suit and a lavender shirt, pale and impeccably crisp.  Although his hair was grey and thinning, he had the look of a man who knows he is a force to be reckoned with.  He had a trim waistline, an intelligent expression, and an air of authority, as if he knew what he wanted to achieve and also how best to get his way.

‘I am afraid there is nothing else for it,’ he said.  ‘In this there can be no exceptions,’ and he made the very briefest of smiles and the most perfunctory of nods.

Then, as they held me at the point of a knife, a fourth man stepped purposefully forward and drew from his pocket a small, flat, black leatherette case.  He lifted the lid with exaggerated care, and I saw his features soften.  Then something flashed sharp as silver in the chilly morning light.

Before I could either speak or cry out, he was suddenly upon me.  He worked in silence with a child’s concentration, his pink tongue at the corner of his mouth. At first there was no pain, only biting cold and a curious crawling sensation.  I had no idea of the scale of his work until I saw the rushing of my blood.

I came spinning back to earth to find myself lying in something like a metal container.  On all sides, its walls rose up, smooth and shiny and grey.  I was now quite alone and, though the pain was fierce, I felt a thrill of perverse satisfaction.  They had had to cut it from out of my mouth before I would give up my truth.

© 2012 Abigail Wyatt

Abigail Wyatt lives near Redruth in Cornwall where she writes poetry and short fiction. She is a founder member of the Red River Poets and performs her work locally, appearing this year at the Heartlands Project and The Penzance Literary Festival. Over the past five years, she has been fortunate enough to have been published in more than sixty outlets. She is a regular contributor to Poetry 24 and the winner of the 2012 Lisa Thomas Poetry Prize. In terms of short fiction, her most recent work is ‘Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories’ (£4.99) which became available through One Million Stories in June, 2012. Abigail can be contacted at http://www.facebook.com/abigailelizabethwyatt  She is always happy to hear from fellow writers.

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