Page 57

   The crowd drumming her to win from their guts, hoofing the stands with their feet. Blasting out her name, the syllables clapping against her ears. Her Breath loud like the cottage’s brook. Loud and ruthless.    Almost every time she crossed the white lines she would coil over, attacked by a spasm of vomit. She had run each day since she’d fingered the jammy sawdust in her father’s workshop.The one he had built at the cottage.    After it happened, their mother did not run. Did not buckle or fade as she and Neal had expected.    Their mother had never been able to open her own doors. Annie had often wondered how this could not make her impatient. Waiting for him, thanking him, walking with a little swish to her rump afterward.    After it happened, their mother learned about doors. She learned to drive and took courses and Annie’s hate climbed and so she ran.    It happened the same day their father had smoothed the tears from her mother’s wilted body.    Their father’s workshop was really just a shed. Her parents loved a music called ‘Motown’. Any and every singer from this particular club was welcome. Their father especially liked a man who sang in a voice like coal about docks and bays. Annie wasn’t sure he was in the same club though. Their father played the song a lot and water swished from the workshop. His oasis, she would later think, between banking, their family and his wife’s constant tears.    In his workshop, their father made boring things exciting. Like the church bench that became a table. The wooden duck shaped for her from a knot of wood discovered on New Quay beach.    Her father’s blank eyes had bulged like a dead rainbow trout. She had hoped it was a game.    After Easter ended, the machine of school began again. The smell of new pencils and erasers.    ‘Karen says he got it from the farmers. He shot baby rabbits for fun.’    ‘My mummy says your mummy was crazy, and that’s why.’    ‘Why did your daddy not want to be your daddy anymore?’    Whispers grew like hedges around Annie and Neal, binding them together in their isolation. It became impenetrable.    In retrospect, she knew why their father did it. And yet it was still a surprise. That stark clap in the garden like an Olympic gun. She had been singing in the bath and her body had false-started. And she had sat and thought about the sound, the strangeness of it. What was that sound?    This was the Easter she had hopscotched barefoot over tarmac that was hot and wavy like burnt blackberry pie. She had watched Annie on TV and belted out ‘Tomorrow’ from her bones before each bath-time. She had been sailing the carved duck her father had made in the bath, her wet fingers darkening the wood.    She’d never eaten fish after that day. 57

LIJLA Vol.2, No.1 February 2014

Profile for Sacred Heart College

LIJLA Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2014  

Short Fiction/Poetry/Visual Arts/Tanka by James Wall, Shanta Acharya, Billy O'Callaghan, Henry Stindt, George Szirtes, Kala Ramesh, Catheri...

LIJLA Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2014  

Short Fiction/Poetry/Visual Arts/Tanka by James Wall, Shanta Acharya, Billy O'Callaghan, Henry Stindt, George Szirtes, Kala Ramesh, Catheri...

Profile for lijla
Advertisement