Thursday, 7 April 2011


A woman, thirties, strums her guitar; woolly hat tightly pulled down; duffel coat, baggy. A large dog at her feet, half asleep, unblinking, watches shoppers as they stride passed; their shoes inches from its nose.

Annie sings of her life, of hazily remembered times. Of a better days tomorrow; but today, today, today... Her voice husky; no longer sweet. Annie sings of teenage dreams, of boys, of the future.

The song ends and the dog sits up, knowing it is time for home. The coins in the guitar's case are meticulously scooped up. Really, Annie needs to replace her guitar strings; before it's to late, before she cannot sing anymore; but there's not quite enough. On the bus home the dog dozes patiently under the seat.

Off the bus and into the corner shop; dog food and a bottle of cheep cider. Behind Annie a plump lady in a stern coat grumbles as the coins, oh so carefully, are counted out; all copper and silver.

In through the back door of her derelict squat. Even the others have moved out as winter approaches. Annie heats up something on a Primus; she cannot read as the electricity is off; the dark descends quickly. She curls up with her dog; tries to sleep.

Annie has not written a new song in years; not since she was a teenager, not since she was about to go to university. Maybe tomorrow; if she feels like it, if it's not too cold.

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