I left the salt at the Thames Barrier: its teeth consumed the ocean tide. I perched on the beach at Greenwich: there were scattered oysters shells, but no oysters; children, but no ice-cream; sand, but no waves. I took wing.
I watched porpoises plunge in the quiet of dawn. I hitchhiked on City Cruises – their prows slicing foaming trenches of water. I saw gardens on boats; boats decades beached; beaches of driftwood and mud. Buildings grew taller than trees and glittered brighter than the water in the sunshine. Sunset touched the grey ripples with gold; it set the glass aflame.
I swooped under Tower Bridge, and slipped through the spokes of the Eye. I circled the Tower and flitted with the ghosts. On the wings of time, I perched on prows of royal barges and flew with prisoners through Traitors’ Gate. I heard the screams that echo in the wind, and smelt the blood that runs in the river.
I joined the pigeons at St Paul’s: I heard for tuppence, once, people used to feed the birds. I tried the flocks of my fellows careening outside the Aquarium, and dined on dropped burgers and thrown crisps. I saw Tower Bridge open, and heard the bells of London sing. What did they say to each other? The summer is passing.
I worshipped at Southwark, and raced trains at Waterloo. I swayed on Millennium Bridge, and summoned shades of friars, black and grey, and princes, vermilion and gone.
Then, I left the dirt and din, for Southend. I winged above the waves and chased the sunset.
This piece of flash fiction is featured in An Animal Anthology of Flash Fiction. Get your copy of An Animal Anthology of Flash Fiction FREE between August 2nd and 6th!