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The day was very cold. The empty platforms and the patch of steel grey sky, visible between the outline of the footbridge and the sheds beyond, only reinforced his feelings of melancholy and fear. He shuffled from foot to foot and pushed his hands deeply into the pockets of the heavy old fashioned serge overcoat, and tried to make them meet in front of him so that the rough material was pulled more closely to his body. It wasn’t effective though; the wind sliced down the platform from the East, and found its way easily between the folds and opening of the coat, to the vulnerable body beneath. He shivered and turned to face the priest from the day centre who had come to support him. The priest met his questioning gaze directly and smiled in encouragement, but said nothing. He placed his outstretched arm around the other’s shoulders, and squeezed gently pulling him momentarily towards him before releasing the pressure. The grey coated man continued to gaze at the priest but now there was a hint of relaxation around his eyes. His mouth worked for a second or two but no sound came and he looked away down the track.
They stood, not speaking for ten or so minutes more before a barely audible announcement crackled over the Tannoy, and their anxiously scanning eyes picked up the first hint of movement many hundreds of yards away in …
Opening the word hoard is edited by Gillie Bolton. Items should be sent to her at the address at the end of her editorial.