A Guy for the Children

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By Alyson Faye

Fear coats me like a second skin.

“Remember remember the 5th November …”

The kids shriek the old rhyme while they leg it ’round the playground, chucking cans, stones, even dirt at me. Huddled, shivering inside my tatty raincoat, I rock myself for comfort.

“Go away,” I whisper.

It’s dark. Late. I wish I had somewhere else to be.

Their shadows flit in and out of the swings and climbing frame, looping, swirling. Like ravens.

Their hands ablaze with sparklers, thrusting at me.

“Run!” one shouts.

“Jump!” screams another.

The newspapers around me burst into flames.

I will be headlines.

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