Chimney. Part 1

The fireplace ticks and crackles it’s last in the morning after an evening of roaring. The massive brick opening is blackened and worn from many decades of use, perhaps centuries. The mantle sits empty. There is a bare dustless square where the carriage clock used to tick. It is away to be mended. Above the mantle a mirror reflects a pair of chandeliers, the glass is dull where once it sparkled, who has time to clean these ostentatious follies? Outside the house the crows have quietened, they have left to the fields. Now there is no sound at all, just time to mourn the fire in silence. But before the soft silence can settle, a sound interrupts, it is drifting down the chimney, voices, perhaps laughter. Just jackdaws settling a dispute maybe, or the winds echo in the pots.
Two mornings later and the fire is dead again, the house silent again. Silence settles, a small sigh resides. But then, I hear the noise again. A voice, then an echoing call down the chimney. That is no crow or wind blow, this is a trick, I walk into the fireplace and peer up into the void, nothing but darkness. So I fetch a torch to see if I can spy a recorder or sound device, all just sooty flue up to the bend, the witches bend, beyond the bend I do not know. The sound has subsided, so I retreat out of the fireplace and get on with building a fire to warm the evening. Laying the kindling I ponder my sanity. A chuckle carries down the chimney that startles me, it sends me running outside to see the roof, to see what or who is up there. Nothing, nothing but clouds up there with the pots. I stoop holding my knees, gather myself then return to the hearth.

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