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 [...]

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 [...]

Diane, Five

“Quickly,” said Mavis, pulling her brother's hand, “we have to go quickly.” At once! her mother would shout when she wanted her room clean, her bed made, or her toys in the toy box, and sometimes that's what she would use with Lewis, but not this time, because to go quickly was the very thing [...]

Diane, Four

“She's a owl!” said Lewis, gesturing with his spoon. At that moment the light above them flickered, the room strobed and the kids, as though impelled by the illusion of the world's momentary stillness sat in perfect quiet for several long seconds afterwards. Lewis at last laughed mischievously as though he had done something, which [...]