- Vol. 01
- Chapter 05
Image by Denise Nestor
Suicide by LightOutside the lighthouse tower the night sky was clouding, stars smudged by a gathering gloom. The weather came down quickly and a few birds with it, flying west. Already there was a heaviness, cloud swirling through the beam, making it look as though the lantern stirred something thick.
The keeper turned his face to the north. It was then that there was a noise and the change in the night. Something beautiful and strange. Birds, reflected in the haloed light. First tens, then hundreds, then what seemed like thousands, churned about the tower. As some dropped out of the sky more came.
A mish mash of colour was reflected in the lighthouse’s sigh - rust of redwing, lemon of yellowhammer, flying amongst the biscuit and black of skylark, curlew, blackbird and thrush.
A first thud reverberated through the platform. And another. And another. Birds crashed against the glass. A yellowhammer hit with the sound of a distantly slammed door. Then a lapwing. A thrush. The birds seemed to be losing sense. The keeper looked down at the balcony beneath him, the light sweeping aside the darkness like the brisk turning of the hands on a clock. There birds lay, piling one on top of another, the dull yellow of their eyes picked out by the beam, the breeze catching up their feathers.
It felt to the keeper like a painting going wrong. The scene dripping out of loveliness, but still more and more birds came.