He watched the black mass moving through the dawn sky. Backlit by the sun’s orange-yellow glow, the sweeping and swooping birds danced in uniformity. It was, he mused, a stunning example of the beauty that could be found in the world.

But not for him. For him, beauty in life had ended. There was only the thought of the painful days that lay ahead. He was alone now, with only his memories of her rattling around in his mind. And soon, he knew, those memories would disappear too, drifting out of his reach. The thought of continuing as his world slipped away was too much.

He took one last fond view over the fields. He would join her now, before he forgot who he was. Before he forgot her.

Keris watched the murmuration from her bedroom window. It was a magical sight, the sort of event that made her miss the family farm. It would be a struggle to get through the funeral today. She hoped her father would manage to stay strong, she was not sure she could support him and keep herself together at the same time.

She had noticed he had been acting strangely the previous evening, leaving doors open, forgetting to take his dirty boots off at the door, searching in every cupboard before he could find the sugar bowl, which was in the same cupboard mother had always kept it in. Doctor Peters had warned her that these things would begin to happen more frequently as the disease spread.

The noise ripped through the morning sky. The starlings jolted and the black, swirling ball dispersed and disappeared over the roof and out of her view. Keris knew the sound, the echo of the rifle shot was a familiar one from her youth spent in the countryside.

The echo faded to a murmur and then there was silence again and Keris knew she was now alone.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt โ€“ Murmur curated over at Sue Vincentโ€™s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


My second novel is released globally in paperback and on Amazon Kindle on Friday, 27th September. Watch the trailer here:

You can pre-order the Kindle version here: AMAZON.CO.UK AMAZON.COM

37 responses to “A MURMUR”

  1. Watching my mother disappear into Alzheimer’s, I often think about what I would do if I could tell it was happening to me. She totally lost her ability to function after my father died–he was holding her together. I can’t dispute his choice. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

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