In accusing darkness I hide in The Alleyway, so notorious that no one dares walk through it even in daylight. I slump against damp brick, feeling the moss and mould grasping at my sweat for salt and life.
Breaking into the old house had been easy. Weeks of surveillance had foreseen the low fence surrounding the back garden, now a wild tempest of long grass and weeds, and the rotten windows. However, having observed the house from the outside, I’d planned nothing regarding my escape.
My heartbeat begins to slow, my breaths become more regular.
I open my bag and pull out a box full of photographs of dead people. Not dead as in corpses but dead as in alive in a time long passed, fresh faced young people from over a century ago and old men and women in bonnets and caps. They stare back at me defiant because they want to continue to live, though I know the little girl on the street corner in 1901 is almost certainly now gone.
Flicking through the sepia pictures I see a troup of teenaged girls from a boarding school, marching and looking into the camera; some sneering, some curious but all intimidatingly confident. I see a boy on a sledge with eyes clamped shut and mouth happily agape and the dull blur of a watching policeman. Wondering if these frozen memories stuck in their minds like these delicate prints, I have to close the box to the patter of incoming rain.