Photo Credit: carloyuen @ pixabay.com
The holiday began with a visit to Lookout Hill, which gave him a panoramic view of the city. At night the lights gave a mystical feel to the city, and he marvelled at the sight of so many tall buildings and the mesmerising glow.
He could have stayed there a lot longer, but his aunt and uncle took his elbow and guided him back to the car for the winding trip down into the city.
Here he received another perspective of the city, looking up into the lights, reading the flashing neon signs, which littered the streets they passed along.
His Aunt and Uncle had offered to put him up for a week while he attended a poetry course at the university. It was obvious when he arrived they didn’t think much of poetry. They made comments as if suggesting he could make better use of his time than attend boring lectures on poetry of all things.
He explained he was the only one from his school and district who had been selected and he considered it an honour to attend. His Aunt and Uncle shrugged commenting that it was his choice and they hoped he got something out of it.
That night as he settled into his bed with his mind alight still with the lights of the city and his anticipation of the days ahead he found it hard to fall asleep.
After a time he heard movement and the front door closing. A set of footsteps went past his room, and the house settled into silence. He didn’t know his Uncle or Aunt worked at night and he’d ask in the morning if that were so.
A little later he was still awake when he heard the front door open and close. Then there were hushed voices, a sense of urgency, then the sound as if a child was crying and then silence.
A little later her heard two sets of footsteps go past his door and the bedroom door to his Uncle and Aunt’s room close.
The next thing he knew it was morning, and he hurried to dress and get organised as he knew there was a bus to catch to the university and he didn’t want to be late.
His questions pertaining to his Uncle and Aunt working at night fell on puzzled faces. No, they replied they both went to bed after he did, slept soundly and never heard a sound.
His Aunt packed him a lunch and then showed him the bus stop. His day at the University had been all he imagined, and he was full of his day when he returned home later that day. He sat at the bench and recounted his day, his enthusiasm obvious. His Aunt nodded and remarked that his Uncle would be pleased his day went so well.
Not long after dinner, he took himself to bed feeling more tired than he realised.
He awoke, his Aunt and Uncle standing over his bed, beside them a small boy, “He’s the one,” said the boy pointing at him.
His Uncle and Aunt then took the knife from its sheath.
In the bed, the young boy trembled, his Uncle and Aunt had become unidentifiable.
Outside the city lights flickered.