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Short story in Easy Living magazine

I only realised they were leaving us there when I saw my Dad attempting a three point turn out of her awkward drive, my mother waving from the passenger seat. ‘It’s okay – I’ll look after you,’ said my elder sister taking my hand in hers.

My stepgrandmother wore her hair like a scallop shell and gold ladybirds in her ears. She was up and about early, hauling coal even in the swelter of summer, in case the boiler ever went out.

We pleaded to go to the Warren where we’d glimpsed donkeys and candyfloss and rubber rings in the shape of seals. ‘Presently, presently,’ she said and put her finger to her lips.

She had a spinning wheel so we spun straw into gold or took it in turns to prick our fingers on the spindle and sleep for a hundred years. We jumped from one rug to the next, never touching the green where crocodiles lurked.

At night we lay like toy soldiers in a box in a double bed with nylon sheets. The static made our hair stand on end. We pushed a torch to our fingers until they glowed red or held it under our chins and did spooky laughs. The moulding on the headboard looked like squares of milk chocolate and when I cried for my parents, my sister broke off pieces and fed me them, whispering secrets in the dark.

I don’t know how long we stayed that Summer, but it seemed like forever.

This story appears in the September issue of Easy Living magazine.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alison – Terrific imagery you have here! You’ve done a great job I think at portraying the relationship between the two sisters as well as depicting their imaginations. You weave in the sense of loss and loneliness too very effectively and without overly stressing it. Nicely done!

    August 21, 2012
    • Thank you so much Margot. That’s so kind.

      August 21, 2012
  2. Sarah Piazza #

    This is gorgeous.

    August 23, 2012
  3. Alison! Hello again! How did I not know about your new writing blog?! So great to see a comment from you about Lena & Lisa Get Measles – we are enjoying it so much again. It’s lovely to read your words again, and congratulations on the publication of this piece. Hope there have been many more.

    Hope all is well and you’ve been enjoying the summertime.


    September 2, 2012

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