Burnt Down – Rosemary Johnson
1000 words General Fiction
The café, where Susan was eating pink ice cream just a fortnight ago, is now a dense blackened shell, the roof caving in around a jagged charred hole. After glimpsing It once, she can’t bear to look again but It follows into her own bedroom. There’re no such things as ghosts… are there?
I can’t look. A little dog is chasing two boys in grey school shorts, barking sharp yaps of excitement. As if It’s not there, not casting its shadow over the very grass where they’re playing. Beyond I can hear squeals, shouts and splashing from the outdoor pool. Under my arm is my elasticated bathing costume, rolled up in my towel. All week, I’ve begged to come here, even though it’s only May and still a bit cold. Its blackness looms over us like a bully’s fist. I turn my back on It. In fact, I don’t look again all afternoon.