Sarah Pickering

Sarah Pickering: Incident

On a foggy autumn morning walking my usual route to the sixth form I noticed smoke coming from a window.

‘Burning toast’ I thought. No answer to my knock, I tried the door and let myself in. I called out to the silence. No smoking toaster in the kitchen. The hall gave way to a bathroom with a neat row of women’s underwear drying on the edge of an avocado bath. In front of me was a closed door with a warm handle. Foolishly I opened the door and was engulfed in an avalanche of smoke. I ran out of the flat, calling for help, banging on doors. The outside world was as still and as quiet as the scene from which I’d fled. The smoke and the fog were in cahoots. Looking up at the outside of the building I could get a sense of the floor plan and ran back in, taking a hand towel from the bathroom to cover my face I ducked low where the smoke was thinner, like they do on television.

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Published in Photoworks issue 11, 2008

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