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Bleak Water

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Only Darkness

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Short Stories



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 The empty buildings were a faint presence in the dawn now, their dilapidation becoming apparent as the sun rose higher. The converted warehouse looked incongruous, new. The water lay still, gleaming in the faint morning light. The canal was little used here.

A bridge crossed the canal further down the towpath. The canal ran under the road through a short arched tunnel. The bridge was a silhouette as the sky lightened, the water in the tunnel opaque and black. The sky was heavy with clouds, promising more rain. The sound of the early traffic disturbed the silence, and the smell of car fumes drifted through the air. The light crept across the water, across the mouth of the tunnel, reflecting up on to the brickwork. The colours began to appear, the dull green of the undergrowth on the towpath, the black of the sodden ground, the reds and yellows and blues of discarded crisp bags, soft-drink cans, cigarette cartons. It illuminated the crumbling brickwork, the weeds growing in the pointing. The shadow of the tunnel lay sharp across the water which moved slightly as the wind disturbed it, slapping against the side of the canal.

The rain was starting again, making the light dull, making the surface of the water dance. And there was something in the water under the bridge. It was like a tangle of weed and cloth, half in and half out of the shadow, sinking into the oily water. As the water rippled, the bundle moved slightly, rocking gently in the eddies. Rise and fall back. Rise and fall back. And sometimes as it moved, a faint gleam of something almost blue white gleamed through the water in the thin morning light...

Follow the links to explore Bleak Water...

| Map | | Triumph of Death | | The Gallery |
| Take a virtual cruise on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal | | Post-renovation: Victoria Quays |