A night like this


The village is sound asleep when I came home late at night. 2 AM. It is the third stormy night in a row. But the village breathes in and out as if nothing could ever disturb its long established rhythm. Even the grocer’s wife is asleep. You must know she is the night owl of the village and if awake it is impossible to escape her at whatever time of the day or night. If she were, she would have scold me. The grocer’s wife agrees with me that someone has to what I do on many, many nights during the year. But she thinks it shouldn’t be me. I think otherwise. So I walk as quiet as I can not to wake anyone up. Queen Cat sleeps merrily on the sofa. The wind rattles against the window frames  and from afar I can hear the sea rolling over the rocks. While it is so late anyway I have a tea and lean against the cold windowless looking out into the raging, stormy night. The storms in its winterly consistency changes the village more than any men-made change will ever be able to do. Just yesterday, the old neighbor from across the street walked with me down to the beach and while stopping for a moment in the middle of the village, he told me of the old oak tree brought down by a storm a good twenty years ago. His father, who merely ever left the village at all, once told him of a storm so vast and wild that a ship wrack from England landed at the village’s beach. His father by then a little boy stood in awe and fascination. Weeks after that the old neighbor says, drowned bodies washed up on the shore. He shakes his head and sighs before we walk on. The sheep are all standing side by side and the wind pushes us to the side of the road. The old neighbor will spending all afternoon down at the sea watching out for boats struggling with the waves. Day after day he comes down and collects the trash, thrown carelessly into the waves somewhere else till it arrives at a remote place as ours. The grocer’s wife speaks of nothing else than the storm, even if this storm is nothing compared to the wind and gusts that blew away half of her wedding guests nearly four decades ago. „But a wedding, it was“ she says still beaming at the memories. But soon enough she continues her prophecies that the apocalypse is close and I definitely should take another scone, because nothing could be as worse as dying hungry. Even the priest when confirming our Sunday lunch date looked scornful up in the sky and told me of a storm that blew away half of the church’s roof. By then the church was able to fund half a roof, today it probably would not be able to pay for plastic foil. He sighs and I chuckle a bit. You don’t think I say, g*d will look out for your roof? But the priest, shakes his head, smiling himself: „you don’t get me so easy Read On, no way.“ Now the church and the churchyard is all black and I am finally in bed. But before I fall asleep I listen for five more minutes to the howling wind and the shattering rain, and think of the breaking timbers of a ship, the unheard cries for help and the black, cold sea, swallowing all of them in a night such as this.

One thought on “A night like this

  1. The image of the village asleep, breathing in and out is wonderful, and the rest of this piece is equally engrossing, leading us to the final visual of the cold sea swallowing all of them on a night such as this. Such good writing.

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