Atop Squall Hill


There’s a feeling of untainted still in watching the ants swarm from high atop Sqaull Hill. That final moment when weary spires and chimneys are silhouetted, fading grey shadows spreading across the sprawl. Then gone. Rising again as illuminated facades, the endless red tail lights snaking towards home. Distant sirens, horns. The masses throng.

I should go.

But my nostrils will inflate with smoke and chilled wet wood. A sure sign that they’re close. Park gates clatter, shut up shop. It’s dangerous to linger here alone.

They say.

All too soon a nocturnal lullaby begins. The rattle, the white noise, the shouting. The stench of walking dead. Rousing those humans invisible by day to stalk shadows for prey and barter their polluted wares.


Eyes glint in the bushes. Primal urbanites crunch: the forgotten souls of the sunken night life. A sub-society not valuing new fangled home comforts; choosing 24 hour hi-vice over quiet fire side contemplation. Lurking by grave stones. Silently mating.

Gone before sun up.

There’s also a gut feeling coming. A warm wash of shared hope. Yes, I see it now. Something about this winking horizon that makes anything seem possible right here, right now.

I drink it in.

Comfortably numb, the addictive allure of the collective wilds calls out. King rats suck the filthy drip of gutters’ waterfall from sodden cardboard. Stagnant puddles under arches. A catacomb of chicken shop carcasses. Rot. Carcinogens.

My people.

I hesitate. The steamy ghost bus flys by, east to west. Shuttling the dead eyes. Destination Unknown.

My escape is hindered.

But to know our movers and shakers are all down there. Beneath me. Living this dream. Dining out, working, sleeping soundly, having sex. They’re all in the palm of my hand. Yet, they know not how we watch.

Long for them to notice.

Curtains are drawn in park fringed abodes. Lights switch off. Shifts end. Others begin. Freight trains clatter by. I really must go. The glow is coming. There’s probably somewhere else I should be.

Someone else I should be.

Post Comment Love
Prose for Thought

18 thoughts on “Atop Squall Hill”

  1. Your writing is very vivid and evocative and is particularly successful in stirring the senses. It reminded me of a time I decided to visit an Edinburgh cemetery in the middle of the night. The things I saw there would chime well with your story.


  2. This piece is really just breathtaking. I don’t really know what else to say, I think the power of your words has left me speechless (or whatever the typing equivalent of speechless is). I’d stand and applaud but I think that might lose something in this medium too. So I’ll just say bravo and leave it at that #prose4t


  3. This is a fabulous piece of writing – it really draws you in and gets you thinking. I hope you meant for people to put their own take on it – I think I have! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x


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