It’s kind of beautiful, really. Like dew strung on a spider’s web or sugar frosting on a birthday cake. Silver tributaries reach out in front of me, each spreading and dividing into the tiniest trickles, glinting as the morning sun catches them obliquely. And then there’s the chiming. Dozens of bells tinkle, off-key but in perfect unison. Beautiful.
At least, it’s beautiful until the rest of my senses catch up. There is glass in my mouth – a gritty nugget sitting right in the middle of my tongue. Ptuh. The cloying smell of milk reaches my nostrils. God knows how many bottles are broken in the back of the float; empty ones trundle past the cab as though determined to continue their journey. Most perverse of all though is the shopping trolley wheel poking through my windscreen, spinning and wobbling drunkenly. The rest of the trolley lies atop the buckled glass like a junkie on a burst couch.
I duck under the window and look up. There they are, the little bastards. One, two, three of them, peering down from the disused railway bridge, their elfin faces caught halfway between horror and delight. How on earth did they manage to get the trolley up there in the first place? Never mind, because I’m stepping out of the van and into the delta of full fat, semi-skimmed, and skimmed milk coursing around the wheels of the float.
This is what they want, of course – a chase. This is what they had in mind when they pushed it off the bridge – another adrenaline rush, another story to tell each other whilst drinking Mad Dog in the park. The sensible thing would be to walk away; to drive on with what’s left of my morning round and my dignity. They aren’t the only ones needing satisfaction now, though. There’s a blood debt to be paid. A milk debt. The faces disappear from the bridge as I start to run towards them.
***As always folks, delighted to hear your thoughts/comments on my writing. Hope you enjoyed!***