Saturday, 3 September 2011

An extract from The Thicket Dwellers

"Rose said nothing as she seated herself, but looked from one to the other in wonder. Why is there a social worker here to see me? Her heart started thumping wildly, as though a rabbit foot beat against her breastbone.
     ‘Rose, I’m afraid I have some bad news,’ Ms Harvey said. She said it straight away, no hesitation. No time for Rose to draw breath. ‘Your mother was involved in a car accident late last night. She is presumed to be dead.’

As the woman said the words, Rose watched the crows that dressed the grass through the window behind the headmaster. She watched them pull worms from the earth; watched the worms being pulled, stretched, before they sprung out and the ground let them go. Rose watched as the crows grew. Yes, they’re getting bigger it seemed, she’d watched them so hard. They must be ravens. No, they’re men with black heads and black wings and black bird’s talons, and they were turning their heads, their large, pointy black beaks that held the worms that wriggled and writhed still, and they looked at her.

‘Rose, did you hear what Ms Harvey said?’ Mr McKennitt asked gently, bringing her back.
     She looked at him. His face was still shadowed, like some messenger, some grim reaper. But the beams of light outside faded away and his human face appeared. She shook her head, although she did hear; and already she felt her eyes would break their waters like the pregnant clouds outside." - N x x x

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