Once when I was young and naïve I destroyed a green teapot with a black lid by putting it down the rubbish chute of the flats I lived in. It was a blameless item, existing its little heart out from home to home, its final place that flat in a boxy brick estate lit by round streetlights, the bushes below the window precipitating hordes of small green flies up through the windows on summer nights when the blue sign of the Cunard Hotel glared sullenly across the void at us. The windows faced westwards; so no sunrise to greet our morning egg and toast and marmite, if there ever was such a thing. But sunsets, over the bend in the river a mile away, roaring in silent sheets of flame.
I once wondered how large a sunset actually is. Is it the size of a memory? Does it have a real extent? The Northern Lights show up on film when invisible to the eye.
Although there were no stars in our night sky, there were robins singing their hearts out as we walked from the Tube station, across the sullen dark of the main road, up the street of Victorian houses and into the flats like a rabbit turning tail and darting down its burrow to safety from the drifting hawk, the prowling fox.
Home. Where I felt safe. Home.
Chris Amies was born in south London and lived for many years in Hammersmith, which still appears in much of his fiction. He is the author of one published novel (“Dead Ground”, published by Big Engine and reissued by Clarion), one non-sfiction book (Hammersmith and Fulham Pubs, published by Tempus) and about 25 short stories, and has reviewed fiction for the BSFA and Tangent Online. He recently diversified into anthology editing (“NeaDNAthal” available from Fringeworks) and full-length translations from French.