“Minutes crept by and the tension in the kitchen rose, as did the noises from the hall. If it weren’t for the scribbles coming from oblivious Sinead, Tony might have been able to pick up the odd word. His mum had sat very still this whole time, but rose abruptly, as if responding to some cue that Tony had missed. She tiptoed over to the door, opening it and peaking her head out to the hall.
When her head returned to the kitchen, her face had drained of colour and her eyes were glazed over.
‘Mum? What’s wrong?’ Tony broke the silence.”
“The rain streaked down the windows as the bus pushed up the road in the dark of morning, as the granite clouds fought to keep the early sun at bay. The warmth inside offered us sanctuary from the blistering cold of an Aberdonian December, and we sat on the upper level of the double-decker 727.”
“I remember the flowers, mainly. Whatever else was in the van blurs back to the junction end of Bedford Road. Its back doors had gaped open, wound-like. The man standing inside seemed hell-bent on his mission, too: cardboard box after cardboard box, wheeling out the van, through the air, smashing off the road, the pavement, crumpling into themselves.”