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Song of the Swan

Today the swan sang a strange lament before flying away.
I held a cup to the wall  hoping to  pick up some residue sounds  but  could  hear nothing.
Others said  they could  hear a loud hissing noise.

Some said it was nought  but tinnitus, I knew better.
The rush of air, the swish of watered wings was quite  distinct.

I insisted but everybody laughed at me and flapped their arms about, everyone that is except a small man dressed in a shabby black suit, who sat close up against the wall with a hessian shopping bag held tightly against his chest, as though he was frightened  somebody might  snatch it away from him.

When he noticed  my  scrutiny,  he hunched his shoulders  and pushed   in ever closer to the wall as though he might  press through  it and disappear into the hidden space beyond. It was then I heard the swans singing, and to my delight those around me heard them too.

Somebody shouted  ” He’s infected us with his madness” and others took up the refrain.
I thought they were referring to the small man pressed up against the wall, then realized they were all starring at me.

The walls of the ill lit room started to vibrate , emitting a noise I can only liken to  that of  finger nails being drawn down a wet black board.  The small man jumped back   as though electrified and squealed ” It’s not my fault!”

“It’s his fault just like before!” Shouted an old lady .
“It’s the swans ” I shouted. “Surely you can hear them?”
“Rubbish!” Screeched  the small man.
Plaster rained down from the ceiling and seeing no way of convincing those about me that I was blameless I turned on my heels and walked quickly from the long narrow room.

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