Ghost Wall by Moss Sarah

Ghost Wall by Moss Sarah

Author:Moss, Sarah [Moss, Sarah]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
ISBN: 9781783784479
Publisher: Granta Publications
Published: 2018-09-19T16:00:00+00:00

The day was bright again, as if England had forgotten how to rain. The bracken is always the first to turn, bronze already coming through at midsummer, but it was still a steadfast deep green. It seemed as if all the flowers were out at once, purple and yellow vetch, foxgloves, of course the heather on the uplands. Even the harebells in the woods and honeysuckle which should have been over by now were still deliriously blooming. I kept my mind on the flora as I moved around stiffly, shoulders held back trying to stop the tunic grazing my skin, avoided sitting down until Dad told me to. You’ll spill your breakfast, he said, show some respect for your mother’s cooking, I won’t have you wandering about like that. I dropped my gaze and did as I was told. It hurt. I’m not very hungry today, said Moll, sorry Alison.

Silvie’s to joint those rabbits this morning, my dad said. Alison, you two make sure they’re ready when folk are wanting them this time, hear me? In company, I risked it, wanted him to know I still had a mind and a voice: yeah, but it’s hard, Dad, to have the lunch on the table at one sharp for seven people who are being guided by their bellies not the clock. Mum drew her breath. So what, I thought, hit me again, I dare you, in front of all these people, let’s have a public beating, an Iron-Age ritual of pain, go on, try it. Don’t be thicker than you can help, Silvie, he said, that’s why you have it ready in good time, so there’s food when folk are wanting it. Get to work now. He met my gaze. You can sit on that rock by the rack, should be comfortable there, hm? Dan stood up. I’ll do it, he said, me and Pete. We need to know how. Silvie can go with Moll, she did most of the butchering yesterday. Happen you’ll need her to show you how, said Dad. I’ll do that, said the Prof, keep my hand in, my wife likes her meat in cubes on plastic trays, haven’t had the chance to do this for years. Go on, girls. Pick some more of those garlic greens, take the foraging book and see what else you can find, we should be getting more roots and leaves at this time of year. There was wild thyme, I said, up on the moor. Aye, said Dad, but the man said roots and leaves, didn’t he, not herbs, it’s not an excuse to go ramping off over the moors, you girls stay local if you’ve no-one with you, hear me? Yes, Dad, I said. We will. Mum, I guessed, was staying home doing the washing up again, and that was her problem.

Leaving the camp with Molly felt like sneaking out of school at break to buy sweets, before I joined the sixth form and we were allowed to leave the premises so all the glamour went out of the newsagent down the road.


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