Diane, Ten

“It's only Roland,” said Genie in a low voice. The car roared then sputtered, and Diane turned. Roland looked tired, his face was darker somehow than the last time, like he had been up all night pondering something very serious. There was something very compelling in it, something that made her want more despite the [...]

Diane, Nine

She was well now, though. Well and husbandless. Brotherless, and she had done her time. The kettle began to pipe and she lifted it from the flame. “That wasn't so bad, was it?” she asked the kettle. Outside, in the cool air, Diane sipped her tea and watched the cat play with a small mouse [...]

Diane, Eight

The way it was. That's what Mr Winthrop often talked about. 'The way it was' was a kind of device he used to refer to prehistory, to man in his child state, where decisions weren't yet made about what was possible and impossible. People, he said, experienced things, unusual, majestic, mystical things as a result [...]

Mabel

Mabel pulled Peter from the tub and he was slick and pink and glistening. He hugged his towel about his chest and shivered. Half-lidded, mouth downturned; the same as when he was indignant, displeased with something. Droopy Dog. Or a little crewman stepping from the wreckage of the George 1, the downed PBM Mariner that [...]

Marian, Two

“Yes,” said John having entered their new home, having walked and turned about in the empty, hardwood-floored, high-ceilinged living room. “Yes,” meaning, as Marian knew, “Yes I'll get my bible,” something he had been quietly deliberating over—whether to bless the new house as they had their first. She was used to things slowing down intolerably, [...]

Diane, Seven

“Kindly light these candles,” said Mr Winthrop, gently touching the two of them, one then the other in their holders on the round table, before reaching beside him to produce a box of matches. Diane squinted down at her hands. Mr Winthrop got up and went to an upright something covered by a heavy black [...]

Diane, Six

The children's beds were against opposite walls in the room. Mavis's had a pink nylon mosquito net suspended from the ceiling, which she loved, and had draped in a circle around her bed year-round. It made Mavis feel safer, as though it were a thing inside which she could see out, but others could not [...]