The Cry of a Buzzard

Tim Goldstone

April 20, 2022


When we got to the end of the land and couldn’t go any farther, I wanted to swim out to where the horizon meets the sea and float on my back so I could reach up and touch the sky, but I’d learnt not to tell the others things like that.

Three months ago the fields burnt. Then, with no water for spraying, the buildings ignited, and that was that. We’d watched it all from the top of the abandoned lighthouse.

Last night we found some dead seagulls washed up on the shore, and despite the smell, cooked them over a fire of boat wood. Everyone imitated the shrieking sounds of seagulls, but I got confused and made the cry of a buzzard so I wasn’t allowed any gull at all and I went to sleep still hungry, my hands over my ears to block out the sounds of people vomiting.

This morning is no different: the dawn has brought another powerful, unrelenting sun. Except this time I’m the only one left alive, and now I can go for my swim.

Tim Goldstone has roamed widely, including throughout the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, and North Africa, and currently lives in Wales. His short stories and poems are published in numerous journals and anthologies, including 11 Mag Berlin, The Offing, Crannóg, The Cafe Irreal, Rough Diamond Poetry Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Daily Drunk, The Mechanics’ Institute Review Anthology, Veil: Journal of Darker Musings, The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang, and Pocket Fiction. Prose sequence read on stage at The Hay Festival. Poetry recently presented on Digging for Wales. Twitter: @muddygold