A bottle of wine had smashed in the stair, between the 16th and 17th floor, the air stank of vinegar. It lay like a broken glass corpse on the floor, blood red dripping down the stairs. Famida stood over the banister watching the liquid flow like a moving puddle down the stairs. Hasima stood beneath her waiting in anticipation for the blood red to touch the tip of her shoes. It won’t go that far down you need to come up. No no it will, wait and see. Famida became suddenly incensed by Hasima’s tentative steps and darted into the red. Hasima watched horrified. What are you? Why did you? You are crazy, your mum will go mad.
Famida stood on two mossy green stones in the river, she held her arms out to the side as she navigated her way down the babbling brook. Be careful it’s slippy hold my hand. Famida jumped into Hasima’s arms, they nearly fell backwards down the stairs. Their hearts skipped beats. Come on let’s go up the river holding hands. Let’s take the boat. Hasima picked up the plastic bag from the floor and passed it to Famida, who placed it out in front of her. ‘Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily life is but a dream’.
Gently Famida stop rocking the boat so fast. Hasima you need to toughen up if you want to survive the boat ride of this life. Let me off. No we are out at sea. No no this is a stream. They held onto each other rocking from side to side.
Malaki opened his front door and heard singing. Mum I’m going out to play in the river. You are not going past the 17th floor, and put your boots on it stinks like vinegar out there. Yea the river mum. I will call you for dinner and put those boots on. Malaki put on his flippers and rubber ring and left the flat. By Nikki Kilburn