Gone

The whole class gets distracted by an almighty ‘thud!’ and clouds of dust billowing up outside our windows.  The children are allowed to line up along the sills and watch as the last part of the old school is demolished before our eyes.  The digger marches determinedly  up and over the huge bank of rubble while his mate claws her way through the debris, picking out pieces of roof tressel, loft beams and wooden edging strips from displays that were covered with our World War II topic work just a few weeks before. Caleb says that it looks like it must have done in the war.

From the newly revealed houses opposite, one of the residents takes a photo of the dust-blanketed Mercedes that sits huddled on his driveway. He gets in his car and dulled rear headlights emerge through the fog of disinterest that permeates the site.   Our teacher comments that her car is over there somewhere too.  With a rising sense of foreboding, I realise where my own is…directly behind the man-made mountain that now fills the space before our eyes.

Gleeful at having found such a handy parking space, one of many in a usually packed street, I dashed in to work without coming to a logical explanation for this unexpected bounty.

The children’s faces mirror my look of horror when I blurt out this realisation and they turn to me with round eyes and open mouths.

Thoughts of volcanic ash clouds and what happens to plane engines flit through my increasingly irrational mind as I go to collect my car. It has almost completely changed colour from a usual metallic green to a greying beige, glowering sullenly to me as I approach.  I offer a few words to any kind soul that might be listening before turning the key in the key in the ignition.

It is only us who are choked by the destruction of this place so filled with memories. The engine flares to life.

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