The Smallest Show
Bonny and Midge sat looking down upon it. They loved to sit up high, the higher the better so that they could look down upon it all. Sometimes when it was a rush and they had wasted time; chatting to boys or bitching with girls, they only had time to go to the middle levels. But today they had made time and reached the top of the hill.
It felt special, they hadn’t been there for a long while, they had been making do with second or third place, the lower or lower still ridges, tiers in the grass covered hill. The girls lay back, side by side. The blue universe over head, monumental clouds to their right reached up up and beyond. The girls, one aged 14 and one 13 lay back, shoulder to shoulder, hands by their sides, fingers entwined.
Below them the lower hills, the town, the streets, the alley ways, the houses, the people, the fights, the making up and the breaking up. Down there- people were coming to terms with what had happened, learning the truth and making their own minds up. The Police were looking for them, asking their friends and searching phone records. But up here there was no phone signal, no roads, no people – just them. Just them… and the birds high up above them; circling looking for bugs that the hot summer air had carried high into the sky.
When they had found them, they were all burnt; the girls had seen to that. They didn’t want anyone else to see them or have to remember them as they did. They didn’t know – that it all should have been preserved for evidence or to be used in court; or rather sniggered at in court. So they burnt them, and stood on them, crushing them under foot, really rubbing them with their trainers like rubbing dog poo off your shoe. But, this wasn’t dog poo they were rubbing off, obliterating; this was their love, poured out onto paper for “your eyes only”.
The tape cordoned off the road, yet one part gave access to the residents as someone’s errant toddler had pulled on the plastic strip too hard and torn it. Taken away now in shame, the toddler could still be heard screaming at the top of the road. No-one crossed the invisible barrier even though they could have made a run for it, as no-one wanted to actually get that close. Get too close and you may catch it, breath in their fumes and it will be inside you, in your lungs, circulating in your body as it was theirs. Their evil thoughts, mapped out by their evil words, written down for all to see, mixed in with the ashes of the victims. Their evil words, their victims bodies now entering you as all you do is innocently breathe and watch it all go up in smoke. People started to turn away from the spectacle and trudge off to their homes to go to.
Bonny sat up, her legs still straight. Pulling on her friend’s arm she gestured for her to lay her head in her lap. Midge obliged, silently repositioning herself to please her friend. Both girls looked down to the town below. A beautiful Sunday summer evening, the town was sprouting smoke. Bar-b-ques and bonfires all marked happy Sundays in the garden culminating with nice food or a nice tidy up. However, the biggest pyre was to out towards to edge of town and was beautified with the intermittent flashing of blue and red. The girls watched as the fire burnt long into the evening, the intense orange of the burning buildings a bright nucleus to a semi circle of beautiful sublime sunset. The kind of eternal sunset that marks that day as a perfect day in which to kill yourself. Especially, if your family, friends and town hated you for being different, for being yourself, for being a murderer. The sky turning from orange to green to purple to blue to darker blue. Blue velvet pin pricked with spots of light. Places far off that the girls could travel to be free, to live with the other aliens and outcasts. That would have to wait as now their peace was broken by a man.
They fought to save them, the paramedics were ready to administer life saving first aid as soon as the people were brought out. They still were people but soon transformed into bodies. The Fireman shook their heads and mopped their brows. The heat had been amazing, astonishing and would go down in folk lore for folk to discuss and fathom about their motives. Already the Fire Investigation team had talked of accelerants, piles and piles of paper stacked up in a room. How a little fire had taken hold and turned into a big fire. The party walls of the houses had cracked under the heat in the attics as peoples stored stuff had caught light and perished with the memories they encased. The spreading fire through attic to attic to attic, down into dust filled cavity walls. A fire box cooked them alive. The girls would have to be found and brought to justice. They wouldn’t get away with it.
The man in his blue black suit was barely noticeable against the darkening shy but his pale face and hard breathing gave away his position. He sat down beside the girls, his legs bent he too looked down at the spectacle. The smallest show for them, as they sat up in the Gods. This was a performance that the best seats were the farthest away. Up here the impact of what had happened was put into perspective just one miserable episode in amongst a long line of miserable episodes. The Policeman looked down upon the town and mentally plotted crime scene rubbed up against another tragic occurrence rubbed up against another sad encounter. He could see why the girls did it, see why they sat up here, see what they saw. Bonny patted Midge on the top of her head and bent down to kiss her, a peck on the lips. The kiss was the full stop in their adventure. They stood up and waited for the Policeman. He was slow to stand as he knew what they didn’t know. He wanted to keep them innocent and young girls in love for a few minutes longer not the infamous murderers they had accidently become.