by Shona Snowden
"Ye've called my foster mum, right?
“Is that thing on?
"We started doon the Tannahill Arms. The lassie'd had a few; she was swaying on her feet. Weemy says, there’s a party in Kerrett Street, and she wants to go.
“We went through McMinnick Park, they trees by the estate. The groond's covered wi' ciggies and syringes, and ye can hear the lorries on the bypass. But if ye look up through the branches, ye can see the sky, and sometimes it seems bigger than at the estate, ken what I mean?
“Weemy says, let's sit doon. But the lassie says, no’ on that manky groond. Pod knocks her over and she's greetin’ and Pod takes off her knickers and...do I have tae say?
"…Pod’s first, and then Weemy, and then Yin, and she's covered wi’ dirt and blood. They look at me, but I dinnae move. That's when Pod…do I have tae....
"…after Pod’s finished, she's no’ breathing. Weemy, Pod and Yin run away, laughing.
"I look up through the branches and it’s all dark, apart from a wee bittie orange light from the streetlights. I tell her I'm sorry. Out loud, like a daftie, even though she cannae hear me.
“That's when this big, dark bird flies across the sky, above the branches. The traffic's quiet for a wee minute and I can hear its wings, flap, flap, flap. When I look down, she's gone.
"Is my foster mum coming? Ye did call her, didn't ye?"