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“The Park” by Amanda Robinson

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records


The Park

by Amanda Robinson

It had been ten years since she had disappeared. Ten years since Henry had woken in the middle of the night and felt her absence, tangible and definite. It had been ten years since the onslaught of pity from his friends and family, who attributed her sudden nocturnal departure simply to “things not working out”. They offered him solace, and smiled piteously at his assertions that they were, in fact, very much in love. They eventually left him to grieve over his failed marriage despite his protestations that something more sinister had occurred. It had been ten years since he had filed a missing persons report with the local authorities. And it had been ten years of silence. One hundred and twenty months of crippling angst, of confusion and despair. For five hundred and twenty weeks Henry had been carrying his cumbersome emotions around like a suitcase. As the days and weeks and months passed and his mind began to break Henry quietly withdrew from the world around him. He slipped slowly into reclusion, spending days at a time locked away inside their dream house at the top of the hill. The only occasion Henry would venture out from his solitude was for his Sunday evening constitutional, which he took every week, rain or shine. Every week he would make his way down the hill to the park at the bottom, his delicate frame hunched over by the weight of his melancholy. Every week Henry would walk the trails that wound through the estate, half-hoping to lose his way and be lost forever, as his wife had been. He knew in his slipping mind that his wife was there in the park. He had dreamt it.

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