• Desola Olaleye

Turd at a Crossing (Fiction)


Photo by Max van den Oetelaar

As I walked through Bloomsbury, grey clouds suffocated what remained of the morning sunlight. I ached for a sign that this city wasn’t full of shit. This city of polluted skies and paranoid paper chasers, where a day, let alone life, could never go as planned. London had become too pretentious for me, too pathetic. Since I moved here five years ago, I have found myself caught between living and anticipating. What will tomorrow hold? The next hour, the next minute? Prompted by the flashing pedestrian light, I crossed the road. While forging through the briefly still roadway, I sensed a hesitating figure shadowing me. With two seconds left to reach the pavement ahead of me, I turned quickly to my right and caught a glimpse of a woman’s reddening face. Attached to a body that seemed to freeze in the middle of the road, this face was tinged with dread. Not the dread buried within me; it was a different kind, a more impatient dread. Beside the woman was a Jack Russell that stood gallantly and patiently on four legs as it released thick brown globs onto the tarmac surface. The source of her dread was unmistakable and, in that moment, mine was gently mocked. A dog does not fear the consequences of showing London how it truly feels.

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