Tag Archives: Short Story

The story of Catharine

When Catharine was a child, her parents told stories. Some were written in books, others improvised or recited from memory. Catharine’s mother would sit on the edge of the bed in lamplight, reading. “Why?” asks Catherine: for every story, Why. Sometimes her mother knows the answer, sometimes she invents. Catharine makes pictures of her mother’s words. The pictures come to life as dreams, embellished by the hopes and fears of a child.

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The last Neanderthal

Vaja has crossed the water alone after burying Tahna under darkness, debarking at sunrise below the eastern face of the limestone promontory. The windswept yellow sand of the savannah is in his beard and mouth as he makes his way up the rock, to the cave some twenty metres above. Soon the weather will change from the dry warm wind of the levant to cool and wet days on open scrubland. Everything changes, says Vaja, to no one.

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[June 21, 1975]

I am on my back a half-naked animal fever bitten with a blade of noonsun dissecting my sweaty torso and the ceiling pulses I may heave again into the blue plastic bucket at my bedside. When I feel able I turn but it’s useless for though I pitch as a ship in weather nothing brings me comfort and I fear nothing ever will and in this moment I ask myself Am I dying Yes comes the brainword Yes as if twisted from a fetid cloth like the one that has fallen from my brow. Yes I am ready to die. Reason claws at the skin of this ocean and although the churn is sucking me down down I know it is only the fever speaking and I swim. I am ready to die but not to go down into these waters.

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