Killing Christmas time in Calais

You’re driving overnight towards Calais and the leaves leap across the road ahead like frogs.

Then you keep driving and the wind picks up and the frogs grow in number and turn into swallows and swoop up and down before you, spiraling.

Then you keep driving and your phone bleeps and it’s a message from P&O saying the ferry service is suspended due to bad weather at Dover. You keep driving anyway, hoping to make it home to England for Christmas.

And then the swallows lose their wings and sprout tails and scuttle and squeak across the road in their hundreds, vicious and determined in their hunt.

And you wonder how your aged mother-in-law will take it when she arrives home from the hairdressers tomorrow and hears that you won’t be home for Christmas.

And you keep driving, thinking about the feast being prepared for you in a gorgeous home in Brighton, worrying about what John will do with the food he’s made when you’re not there to eat it.

And you can still see the glow of the bright lights in the night sky above Paris.

And Elbow nudges out LCD Sound System which slips into The XX.

And you keep driving, hopeful, watching for signs in the wildlife in the wind.

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