“Just keep following this road Donna, it’ll be about another ten minutes.”
Claire stared at her. She could see worry, apprehension and fear. Her younger sister had the same look when she had first told her what she did.
Claire’s thoughts went back to where this had began.
The communal bathroom was a lot cleaner than she thought it would be. This was the first time that she’d been in. She reckoned dust would be more of a problem than shit as everyone must have used their en-suites.
You are here now and it is you who calls the shots.
If there is anything you want to talk about, you can.
I see you’re doing very well in English. Miss Patterson is impressed by your story telling. You express yourself very well.
But that’s writing, it’s not real is it?
And even if there is some of you in there, nothing is as powerful as hearing your own voice.
When you are ready…
…Talking is what you need to do
My Uncle Jonathan was a wonderful writer and an even better storyteller. By that I mean he was gifted with a vivid imagination when recounting events from his colorful past. How much of his writing was accurate has always been up for debate. But if only half of what he swore to be the truth were true, the man lived a rich and fortunate life.
The barber-striped blades of the level crossing fell and, one breath later, civilisation fired past like a bullet from a gun. I waited, Rum tensed at my side, and then continued on, releasing the extension lock on his lead, the swish of his ribboned tail communicating his pleasure at this small freedom. At the crest of the road, I stepped, and Rum bounced, over the sagged section of fence wire and into the field. The land lay fallow, my Hunters squelching in the waterlogged grooves of the soil, dull and lifeless in the shadow of the fir forest. On rare summer days, when heat distorted the air into ruffled fabric, the line of firs shifted and undulated, an emerald curtain revealing another world – which, for me, it did. Every morning, I came to learn more about its indigenous race of insects – gods of nothing, my husband called them – while Rum conquered the undergrowth with a raised hind leg, each of us in our element. My latest academic paper was on the Andrena fulva – the tawny mining bee – due for publication in the forthcoming volume of Entomologist’s Gazette. I never used to believe that I had the intellectual capacity for science, but time taught me that brains came second to commitment and, after six years married to Paul, I was more committed to my work than ever.
That night was still. I heard the silence of all those lost souls. I considered myself being one. I dismissed the idea very quickly and drank another gin. Straight gin was allegedly, the drink of alcoholics. Specifics for some reason outweighed quantity. The gin wasn’t really a choice, it was simply what was there.