I’m scrubbing the word SCUM off the front door of our house. I wipe so hard that my wrists start to ache, but the red letters remain bold and bright, their edges dripping as if they’re bleeding.
The whipbirds are going mad in the fig tree by the fence, the way they always do before a storm. I turn and look at the dark clouds collecting over the buildings ... More
I can’t remember when the man who is now my husband first told me he loved me. Was it when we drank cocktails at that windowless bar with the old train seats you could turn to face in either direction? We tried to go back once, but it had been replaced with a hardware store; we priced a set of outdoor furniture and bought some new wire for the clothesline to stop ... More
Meadow-Wisp was conceived on the Cerne Abbas Giant. Her Dorset hippie parents, who believed in unfiltered communication, recounted every detail: hiking up the hill through dense fog, their torches reflecting chalk outlines (foot, calf, ribs, elbow), grass slick beneath them, concentrating on an energy focal point. In the final weeks of pregnancy, her mother cross-st ... More
Alex is watching his wife as she stands at the pale stone bench and raises her canister of Chinese herbal tonic to her shoulder to give it a quick shake. She gives him a game, faintly ...More
Before the ceremony began, the woman with hairy legs and an air of having just abandoned a cigarette wandered as though at a party to the coffin where – though it was impossible and not so – Clelia’s mother, Margaret, was. Three days ago, four days ago, Clelia had said to her mother, ‘Come and see the blossom I’ve brought back.’ She had just returned to ... More
Georgie heard it too. On the very first morning of this story, though so much had gone beforehand. The usual warbling of the typical magpies, if anything so mysteriously complex as a magpie’s song can be called typical. There she’d lie, day after day, alongside Muir in their countless beds, in cramped corner flats and large creaking homesteads, in cold fi ... More
A visitation of Kindly Death is recorded by the Law List in a glass cabinet beside the sandstone doorway of Court Four in the City Courthouse, the sole item for the day’s business, and for many days:
Trial: R v Ali Bashir. (1) Murder (2) Assist Suicide.
The second count, rather than the first, is the reason f ... More