• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 05
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The Factory Explosion

After the factory blowed up we couldn't talk right for weeks. We got the smell over this way like an hour after the bang. While Mam picked up all the broken plates we was up on the tracks at the end a the garden. The trains was all stopped. We watched the smoke growin' and a lot of us wanted a get closer but for the time being we was confined to the garden. The clouds filled up with it and then the stuff comes down. You could feel it on your cheeks if you stood still and concentrated, but not on your hands if you held 'em out.

When we was all rubbing our eyes, Mam looks at us and says you get in now. The baby and me little sister had first dibs on the sinks, Mam splashing water on their faces but she couldn’t stop 'em crying. All the while she’s yelling at us to stop rubbing 'cause she thinks it’s making it worse. When it was my turn and I sees meself in the mirror it’s a real horror 'cause me lids are all swelled up and pink as rasbries.

We noticed the stuff on our tongues when we was eatin' our tea. We was on our own, Mam 'aving locked us in while she was running round all the neighbours'. Our sandwiches didn't taste right. The cheese was all prickly. Like battery tops. We fought the cheese was bad, but when we noticed the same taste was in everyfin, we realised it was our mouths.

In the mornin', our tongues was speckled all over and fat. We stuck 'em out and stared at each other's. We all 'ad monsters in our mouths. It was 'ard work to talk and none of us sounded right. It was freaky what Mam sounded like.


The Factory Explosion

We 'ad all this for two weeks. The bad food. Our tongues all weird. And the itchin' eyes and runny noses. But in other ways it was the best time. When Mam worked out it didn't make no difference inside or out, we went out, all of us kids from the village, to the woods, collectin'.

It's funny how we'd go out some weekends with our catapults and if we came home with a couple a pigeons it'd be top. But now we filled carrier bags with 'em. Birds I never even knew there was.

We lined 'em up in the garden. Mum seeing 'ow proud we was of the collection she let us keep 'em all for a couple a days. But then the crows turned up and Mam knows stuff about crows she didn’t want us ta know, so she made us get the spades out the shed. Flicking the dead birds over the other side a the tracks was the last fun we had with 'em, but maybe the best fun.

It started rainin' while we was asleep. In the mornin' we could talk and taste food again, just when I was getting used to everyone's new voices. All the people that'd been kept outside a the roadblocks was allowed back in, including Dad, but none of us wanted him back.