At the Corner

We hung what we could think of around the tree stump; small tokens and memories and promises of remembrance. We tried not to think of the headlights flaring over the place where a tree had been, not so long ago. We tried to not to think of the screech of brakes and the sudden look of surprise on a white face, already slack with alcohol, behind the wheel.

Caroline hung a string of old feathers that her grandmother had given her – to ward off evil spirits, she said, as if this place wasn’t haunted enough already. She said her people believed that all a soul needed was one day of freedom to make it across the desert of the afterlife and to safety.

The police told us that we had a week before they started taking things down – too much could lead to a distraction for passing motorists, they said. Usually, they said, they allowed a week. Remember, they said. A week. They spoke to all of us, as if hoping a leader would emerge from the gathered crowd to take responsibility.

It was dull and dark overhead, and our bright ribbons and pieces of cloth fluttered in the breeze.

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Simon Smithson

Simon Smithson is an Australian writer who dreams of escaping from this prison continent. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, in print and online. He loves the Oxford Comma, or ‘list comma’ as it is sometimes known in less formal circles. He loves it like he loves TV, books, and the internet. He is currently enjoying writing for

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