The Land by Evie Wyld

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An awkward inheritance raises difficult memories in this story from Evie Wyld


In the mornings she liked to get up before the house stirred. She liked to make coffee and stretch and wash her face, to take her vitamins and write half a page of journal. She liked to do these things, but she never did. She woke at 5am and lay there listening to the birds taking their turns in chorus, the thrum of wings as they attacked the feeder. Too much to do.

The dishwasher needed emptying and before it could be refilled it needed salt. The house plants were all browning, the bathroom floor was scuffed with mud. The cobwebs in the corners of every room had hung there for well over a year, the spiders were fat and part of the family. And then there was work, which she could get through if she was undisturbed. But what was the likelihood of that, when Ed’s trousers were somewhere in the piles of laundry, when Jim needed readying for nursery and there was no food in the house because she was low on money and couldn’t bring herself to say it – even though Ed would buy the groceries if only she would ask. And so she stayed under the covers, feeling the pulse of blood in her throat.

Jim came in at six and sat on her chest. In the night he had sweated his hair into a little bouffant.

“It is time to go downstairs,” he threatened, pushing his forehead on to hers, his breath like sweet vernal grass, “and I want fruit toast and pomegranate.”

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