Academic journal article Hecate

Blood Plums

Academic journal article Hecate

Blood Plums

Article excerpt

She was young. All spindle legged and sandy coloured. Her fair hair cropped unfashionably close to a pointed face that carried more than a hint of adulthood. I'm a mouse, she thought as she tiptoed from her bedroom. Not even the bright eye of her little sister could track her.

The web of her family moved lightly, as if fanned by their sleeping mouths. A rustle of bedclothes from her mother's room. She froze, gripping the cracks in the linoleum with long simian toes.

Moonlight penetrated the kitchen window, tainted by the streetlights outside. A sepia stain that turned her reaching fingers a dusty yellow. I'm a mouse she insisted as she hooked a scrawny knee up onto the counter top and pulled herself up. She held her breath and reached up to the top of the cheap plyboard cabinets. The girl let her fingers slide through thick dust like ashes.

A feathery pinprick of movement across the back of her hand made her bite her lips shut before her nimble fingers moved on, a ghostly arachnid in the spider's wake. The journal slipped into her hands like an eager dog's snout. She folded it to her chest and silently leapt down from the bench top. The girl scurried back to her room. Like a mouse. Like a clever mouse, she thought.

The next day, her tears dried fast on her cheeks as the pages fell, cabbage moths dancing and curling in the flames, from her mother's strong hands.

'I wrote the worst things I could think of, chocolate cake. None of it was really true. I imagined the worst that could happen so I could cope with what really was.'

'So he never did those things?'

Of course not, honey. …

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