Red Umbrella:  Christopher Shay
Courtesy: Magpie Tales


Rusty neighbourhood, rain. Drag pulled on his cigarette and looked out from his damp room on the third storey of a derelict building at the sodden world outside. The floor of the room was littered with cigarette butts; as always, he had been smoking the day away. No wonder the neighbourhood knew him as Drag rather than his real name.

‘What a colourless day,’ the words came out in a mumble and ricocheted off the wall they could not penetrate. He twirled the pistol aimlessly round his finger, loath to put it away.   

Suddenly, the unending grey of the street covered in slush was punctured by a splash of red – a man in a red umbrella was hurrying by, perhaps returning home to his wife and kids after a hard day at work.

Something seemed to stir within Drag. “Love is like a river,” he remembered how She often said that,   quoting from a song. The love had soon dried up, and She had gone her way. As for Drag, before long, he had returned to his life of deceit and shame.   

The red umbrella seemed to be fast moving away. A frighteningly familiar urge rose up in Drag and his fingers tightened on the trigger.  ‘NO, DON’T DO IT,’ he tried to tell himself, but it was already too late.


The umbrella had fallen to the ground and a different red now lay splattered on the dirt-covered lane.


Magpie Tales , Carry On Tuesday, Three Word Wednesday