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The Enemy, Asyndeton

August 2021, no. 434

The Enemy, Asyndeton

August 2021, no. 434

Listen to this story as read by its author.


She’d offered to lay the table (‘Oh no’) or make a salad (‘It’s basically out of a bag’). What she could do, said Amy, was track down That Child, ‘somewhere down the garden. It’s terribly overgrown.’ Borrow my boots if you like, she called at Elizabeth’s departing back.

The child, when found, was in a dead apple tree, not dangerously high, but in a controlled dangling.

‘You better not come any closer,’ said the child, a girl. ‘I might kick you in the head.’

It was a fair assessment of their relative positions. Any closer and Elizabeth’s head would have been in danger.

‘Not on purpose.’

‘Oh, I see. That’s all right then. What are you doing up there?’

‘Looking, really.’ Then, as if adding much-needed clarity, ‘Looking out for things.’

‘Birds? Squirrels?’

‘For an enemy.’

‘An enemy?’

‘Yes. Asyndeton.’

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