This will be the mother

This will be the mother of all days.
The day when all the ways I miss you
will be revealed. And all the devils
in the detail, and all the stories I still write
for you, tall tales of shameless derring do,
of fisher folk on the tempested seas,
all the tiny hints I write
for you to seize on,
knowing you will never read them
or even know they are there.
Oh, this will be the mother of all days.

And someone who might have been her mother

A middle-aged woman and someone who might have been her mother got out of the lift on the ground floor, turned sharply to their left and got into the one next to it. They did it without looking around, or discussing; they seemed to know what they were doing. But they were dressed as tourists, not as people who worked at the airport. A middle-aged woman and someone who might have been her mother. Well-dressed but not expensively.

G touched the screen of his phone and, on the next floor up, his colleague F waited for the two women to push their trolley out of the lift then shot each of them in the head.

It was a wrong call.

F was pushed sideways in the organisation, but G came close to being asked to leave. It took him two years to climb back up to where he had been, to prove himself reliable, two long years and too many low-level jobs.

Then, two years later, the terrorists who had watched him watching the tourists did what they had been planning to do.

They claimed responsibility in the names of Rosa and Margherita, the two tourists F had killed. A middle-aged woman and her mother.

Volare… Nel blu dipinto di blu…

I carried you inside me and now I carry the weight of your dreams on my shoulders. I shall not buckle. I shall not fall. They will not break me.

Dreams should be weightless, should be weight-free, should lift you up and take you onward, into the blue, into tomorrow. But as I sit and watch you sleep, on your mother’s young shoulders your dreams lie heavy.

And as I walk along the clifftop path, you sit on my shoulders singing Volare. (Sing, mummy, sing.) I can see the mountains of Albania beyond the blue, beyond the sea and the sky. Volare.