Myths [Extract]

… and — oh, yes! he was there again, standing where she’d seen him once before, by the canal bank, the early light thin and wasted about him, and the sky the colour of ashes from a long-dead fire. What she saw then always stayed in her mind, unchanged by everything that happened later. She came slowly along the path from the town which she took so often these days, the earth damp under her feet, and heavy. Bennie was drowsy in his sling, his face pressed uncomfortably against her breast, and she wondered how it was that such small features could cause so much pain.

She paused at the fork of the path. A spider’s web like a little silver wheel was spread on the grass before her. It looked fragile, easily broken, but she saw that it was strong enough even so to hold some tiny creature caught fast there, pulling against the shining threads. It grew quiet as she watched, and she shivered, for the morning air was very cold.

The wider track led on to the canal, the old factory buildings, the ugly clutter of the scrapyard, metal poles and broken fencing. A few men were coming and going already, amidst the rust and rotting wood, the screaming of machines. Bennie sometimes liked to see them, but it tired her. She tried to shake away the dark hair that clung to her neck; it hung loose about her shoulders, too heavy for the delicate lines of her face.

Will hadn’t liked it this way, but Will wasn’t here to see it now.

From November Wedding