I knew something was wrong in Prestatyn yesterday, even before I saw the official yellow police tape that cordoned off the main bypass road....you could just feel it.
It was an odd sensation and one that I have not really experienced before, but immediately after I parked on the High Street, I realised something was afoot, something was very different.
Instead of the usual fluid movement of elderly shoppers and the limping institutional disabled that fill the pavements of the town, people were talking together in quiet huddles.
The town felt quiet and still.
Like I said , it was the oddest of sensations.
I was reminded of times I have waited around for the start of a funeral.
There was that certain charge in the.air.
For anyone who has read the national newspapers or listened to the radio, they will know that the news was bleak.
A young woman and two children* had perished in a fire just yards from where I was parked. A fire that was thought to be deliberate.
Bad news changes a community. It unites it with striking speed. People who wouldn't give each other the normal time of day in front of the butchers, now stop to discuss the "awful news" or to shake their heads in disbelief as other snippets of the saga are shared and postulated about.
Even the moderately sized town of Prestatyn turns itself back into a village, when disaster strikes.
It's a interesting phenomenon.
In these days of nuclear families, of selfish living, isolation and where neighbours don't even know each other , even to nod to; I think that deep down there still is the need within people to connect, to feel comfort in sharing. To be a part of a community.
With all the negative things that we are constantly being told about in the modern selfish world....perhaps that is the one "good" thing to come out of something terrible like this...? even though it lasts for a mere day or so!
* another child has subsequently died today