We stood looking at the wall for a few seconds after Sam had disappeared over the top of it. There was nothing particularly interesting about it.
- He’s gone now, said Malt
- Yeah, I said.
We turned away from the wall and started walking slowly off into the unseeable sunset. We didn’t even have to consult as to what way we’d go. We were that close. And across the street, I suppose it was the opposite path; there was a heap of fallen leaves. Only they weren’t beautiful and rustic and amber and crunchily-crinckly. They were city fallen leaves, all angry and beat-up and torn. Soft when they only wanted to be barbed with ferocious barbs of foot-shredding hatred, to ward off the kicking oafs.
Malt dredged canals and rivers and things for a living. He’d been doing that for fifteen years, never leaving the country or anything, no friends, partner, interests, no life. All he ever saw was the glistening up-turn of daylight basked riverbed, again and again. Then, it was a morning in March; he dredged up a black and cold corpse. It was bloated and unpleasant, and had a neat hole on one side of its head, and then an ugly mass of missing on the other. The foreman and Malt and the early passers-by and the site manager thought it was a clear cut case of murder. However, the post-mortem begged to differ
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