You’ll notice as you walk over the mound of the hill a road in front of you. A few steps along this road there is a red and white striped barrier; not unlike the barrier you may see for a high speed train. Passing around the side of the barrier you’ll see that the tarmac has risen, erupted even, with roots and ferns claiming back their space. As you carry on your feet will follow the rise and fall of a speed bump and you’ll hear the putt putt of a tractor in a distant field. Looking up above you’ll see the swooping, circling, chasing of two swallows like mischievous letter V’s set loose in the sky.
Walking on you’ll see that above the high skirted trees are the Accrington red bricks of a tower. Sandy gravel will crunch under your feet as your left arm brushes jaggy pine needles. As you come round a bend, you stop in your tracks. Taking in the two symmetrical domed towers and a smaller tower in the middle of the central façade, you’ll notice a clock stopped at five to three. The building is vast but oppressive; it feels it could fall down on you at any moment. Your eyes will lower to where the windows had been. Darkness. Mesh. Barricaded. Keep out. 24 hour CCTV. You then look at the tower on the right, up to the top rectangular window where pea- green leaves wave out, their edges illuminated ochre by the sun. Your eyes will stay there; fixed.
Then you will think of the girl who threw herself from there, breaking both her legs. And you wonder at how your mother coped with rehabilitating her. Again. Only for her to be successful next time around with a handful of white pills.
Rhona Millar writes short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Her story A tiny pot of Devon custard was published by Ink Sweat and Tears and was shortlisted for story of the month in May '15. She is a regular contributor to www.abctales.com and you can tweet her here.