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Myrtle Avenue — A Fiction
The loudest street in Britain has a secret approaching
There is a rattle in the North East corner of the living room hidden somewhere within the plasterwork. A loose screw or an offset of timber caught between the panelling. You can hear it just below the 87 decibel night limit of the 3769 flight to Charles de Gaulle.
Rattle. Rattle. Quiet.
Keith might say I am imagining it. I’ve asked him to take a look, insisted he press his ear to the wall when we hear the plane approaching. He’s rarely awake at that time, falling asleep on the three seater, an unbookmarked novel closed at his side. He groans and shuffles to the space behind the bureau, hears nothing.
He was too late anyway. I only ever hear it in the approach, dull and wooden, like the hope of a child crying out in the night. Hear me, it says. He never does. By the time he gets up, the moment is gone.
We’re getting too old for this now, I suppose. Or I hoped we would be. There was a time when I would have believed our home was impregnable to such invasion. We had sturdy foundation, trusted each other enough to never need a survey on our own histories. He was always so trusting. Naive to his own gravity.
But this rattle warns me there is something there. Years of quiet have come and gone. She is coming. She is coming. And I know he won’t hear it until the tiles have been shaken from our roof and the walls have buckled beneath the beauty of the sky pressing down upon them.