The Long Wet Grass. | Seamus Scanlon.

In Crumbs, The Menu, Visual Arts by Quiet Lunch

The resonance of tires against the wet road is a mantra, strong and steady.  The wipers slough rain away in slow rhythmic arcs into the surrounding blackness.  The rain falls slow and steady, then gusting, reminding me of Galway when I was a child where Atlantic winds flung broken fronds of seaweed onto the Prom during high tide.  Before the death harmony of Belfast seduced me.

The wind keeps trying to tailgate us.  But we keep sailing.  The slick black asphalt sings on beneath us.  We slow and turn onto a dirt road, the clean rhythm now broken, high beams tracing tall reeds edging against the road, moving rhythmically back and forth with the wind.  No lights now from oncoming cars.

We stop at a clearing.  I open the door, the driver looks back at me. The rain on my face is soothing.  The pungent petrol fumes comfort me.  The moon lies hidden behind black heavy clouds.  I unlock the trunk.

You can barely stand after lying curled up for hours.  After a  while you can stand straight.  I take the tape from your mouth.  You breathe in the fresh air.  You breathe in the fumes.  You watch me.  You don’t beg.  You don’t cry.  You are brave.

I hold your arm and lead you away from the roadway, into a field, away from the car, from the others.  The gun in my hand pointed at the ground.  I stop.  I kiss your cheek.  I raise the gun.  I shoot you twice high in the temple.  The coronas of light anoint you.  You fall.  The rain rushes to wipe the blood off.  I fire shots into the air.  The ejected shells skip away.

I walk back to the car and leave you there lying in the long wet grass.

–Art by Sarah Hardy.