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THE CLOTHESLINE

Read the first chapters of the acclaimed debut novella

CHAPTER 1

TW -  domestic violence and dark themes

My eyes flicker open and as my body awakens, I am instantly aware of the deep ache in my side, in that soft vulnerable space between my ribs and hip.
I bite my lip as I ease my body over to the side of the bed, moving slowly and carefully so as not to wake him, but his arm snakes across my torso and pulls me backwards, an unwilling little spoon in a controlling embrace.
He nuzzles his face into the nape of my neck and murmurs a morning greeting into my tangled bed hair. My eyes squeeze shut, unwilling to face his morning breath and empty platitudes.

CHAPTER  2 - FAIRY

TW -  domestic violence and dark themes

Fairy was used to being alone.


It wasn’t something she had chosen for herself, but it seemed it was what the universe unilaterally decided for her. As the only daughter of uncomplicated, hard-working parents she silently witnessed the agony of miscarriages and stillbirths that wore down her parents with grief, until they simply gave up ever adding to their family.

HOW 'THE CLOTHESLINE' WAS BORN

My surprising creative process

In March of 2020 (2020; the year no one will soon forget) I wrote a short story, that I called 'The Clothesline'. It was a dark chapter about family violence that turns deadly during a world-wide pandemic, and it was inspired by the dreadful news reports that emerged during the first months of Covid-19.


I listened to a news report as I finished my coffee one Sunday morning and as I pottered in my large, still establishing garden, I mulled over what I had heard. I could only imagine how being in lockdown with an unstable tormentor would feel, and - in my mind anyway - I felt my developing character would have only a few options open to her.

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