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the site of the damned

31/10/2010

Hello Sunday Polaroid

The dam, it is said, is where the ones we don’t see or hear or even talk about come to swim and sink. Of course, to see it during the day you wouldn’t realise. The sun hits the water, reflecting brightly off it as though it is a slip of cellophane, and the bushels of leaves, long and thin, dangle at a height, rustling in the wind but not making much noise at all. It is peaceful. People come with their blankets and towels, sometimes even just the scraps of material on their backsides, and rest in the shade on the bank. Yes, it is quiet, but at night, when the cellophane has turned to ink, it is even more so. Silence condemns the air, takes all noise hostage. Those who visit after sunset have their voices pulled from their throats, like hair being removed from a drain. Screams ring out only as near-invisible ripples. It is worse for those who whimper. Each snivel is an individual stitch in the night’s throw, plucked with the sharpest tweezers and then threaded into something indiscernible but heavy all the same. Fortunately, the after-dark visitors don’t usually have anything to say. They want just to dive into the shadows, without a splash, and disappear.

Find out more about this Hello Sunday fable.

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