My story ‘Here Come The Gulls’ is published over at Spelk today. Hope you enjoy.
She will set fire to the garden, to bring her father back.
It is day sixteen of the heatwave. The lawn is a tinderbox ready to spark. Shrivelled flowerbeds are perfect kindling.
She will tempt him with the smell of scorched grass and dying flowers. He will come to repair the garden, so neglected after his leaving.
When it goes up in flame, it explodes outwards, catching specks on her skin.
Her father does come back, to visit her in hospital, soothing her burns with the promise of never leaving her again.
We spend our days playing in the closet.
In our imagination it is a spaceship, a doorway to other worlds, a portal that can travel through time. In the darkness we act out our fantasies, constructing the characters of our narrative. We play with the treasures that surround us – costumes in boxes, paperwork on shelves, trinkets that remind us of our parents.
We play all day in the closet, waiting for the door to be unlocked once more.