Red on Grey
The sudden skid and bang shocked the whole street into silence. Laden shoppers stopped and turned to search for the source of the sound. The drive, a man in his fifties, had got out and was staring (white face, hand over mouth), at the body lying in the road. A young man, half the driver's age. A large pool of blood was spreading over the tarmac, red on grey. There was a dartboard smash on the windscreen, right where his head had hit.
Slowly, the crowd inched forward.
'Someone call an ambulance,' said a woman. Three people already had.
Though they had broken up five years before, he never really got over it. Half of him awaited her replacement. The other half longed for her return. Since she had gone his life had been empty. He drifted along like a derelict.
Then one day he saw her, walking down the other side of the street. He stood frozen for a moment, rooted to the spot by hopeful disbelief. There she was, after all this time, like a sudden splash of red on the grey of his life. She slowed down and went into a department store. In a moment he would lose her, she would be gone forever.
Unthinking, he ran across the road towards her. Never saw the car that hit him.
A policeman questioned the driver. An Ambulance crew loaded the covered body into the back. A Workman shoveled sand over the blood. The crowd shifted, people came and went.
Those who had seen it would never forget. But the young woman wasn't among them. She was in the depths of the department store, trying to pick a smartphone.