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by Florian Rose

The couple crushed to death in their car under nine metres of rubble under a tunnel, due to a mudslide, on the Dorset coast. A Victorian tunnel. Their car not found for ten days. No one had reported them missing. She was in her late sixties. He was a young seventy. He was her boyfriend. They had only recently met, and had gone on a day out. No one knew there was a car beneath the fall of rocks and rubble and bits of trees. Many tons crushed them to … what? Their late affair. Their last day out. A cream tea. Napkins and a growing sympathy. Going home, were they? Or to some hotel? Safe from the rain in their car.

And the woman in her twenties also crushed by rocks, beneath a cliff. Dorset again. Cliffs like we have walked by, under, a mile or so away. They found her in the morning, when light helped them. She had walked by the sea, near the reliable cliffs. Tan height. The cliffs that contain so many fossils. Her uncle told of her on the radio. She was twenty-seven, or thereabouts. He told them her name and her age. He confirmed it.

After so much rain, for so long. The wettest June since. The cliff fell. The tunnel collapsed. Knocked out, then crushed? Severed. Turned to paste. Blood metal. Sudden death or lingering? Or did the suddenness linger? The weight pushing, slamming, the car roof down. Pancaked. A paper car. Did they have time? Time to see each other’s last look? What happened to all their bones? His cufflinks. The brooch. Did their faces mingle in the dark? Did they get a chance to say some last thing? Were they scared, for a second’s grace? How little did the weight make them? Feel? The old ones.

The younger one. So much ahead. Did she hear the first tickling from above, the first pebbles, that grew to a fall of mass and murther? Or were there no pebbles to warn her? To scare her into a dodging run. No sight nor sound. Just the hasty drop of ten-thousand pounds of stone, then thirty-thousand more, of whatever kind, that flattened her out of her story. Hard sky fall after a thousand years of waiting. It ruined her walk, her day, and banished all the days life owed her.

The old ones. The family are naturally upset. Why were they not found for ten days? But were they reported missing? No. They were not missing until they were found.


Florian Rose has recently started writing, and enjoys trying to write stories and flash fiction. He reads a lot, and hopes to keep learning as he goes along.

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