The Stopped Heart by Julie Myerson
IT WAS A SUNNY DAY. THE SKY WAS THICK AND HIGH AND BLUE. Addie Sands was standing in the lane and she was screaming. There was blood everywhere. On her skirts, her wrists, her face. A dark hole where her mouth should be. There were no words. Nothing but the black taste of her screaming.
Nobody knew what to do. We all stared. We dared not go to her. I think some of us stepped away. At last my mother went over, grabbing her by the shoulders, seeing the blood, the mess of her hair hanging down, tears and cries and wet on her face.
For the love of God, Addie, what is it? Whatâ€™s happened?
Addie moaned. She tried to twist her head away. She would not let herself look at my motherâ€™s face.
Just tell me, my mother said.
Addie kept on weeping. She could hardly breathe for weeping. My mother had her by the shoulders. She kept hold of her.
Are the kiddies all right? Has something happened? Is it the school?
The kiddies. A quick, burnt feeling went through me.
Addie moaned and dropped to her knees. Right there in the lane with the sun high up above and dandelions and dust and horse dung all around.
I didnâ€™t know, she said. How could I know?
My mother kept very still.
Know what? she said.
Addie could not look at her.
I thought heâ€™d come to fetch the kiddies home.
Now my mother got it. Her face turned white. When at last Addie lifted her chin, her eyes did not go anywhere. They went straight through.
I thought heâ€™d come to fetch them. I didnâ€™t know what he was going to do. He had this great big happy smile on his faceâ€”
Addie gazed at my mother.
He was smiling all the time he did it, she said.
MARY COLES STANDS IN THE LANE. SKY STILL DARK, BUT ALREADY birds are singing. The cottage too. Dark and unsteady, turned in on itself. She keeps her eyes on it, unsure at first what sheâ€™s looking for, wondering if sheâ€™s even got the right one. The second cottage you come to after the humpback bridge, Graham said. Is it this one? Does she want it to be? Brick and flint. Run-down. One smashed windowpane under the eaves. Paint flaking off the door. The little gateâ€”yes, the gateâ€”so rotten itâ€™s coming right off its hinges, he said.
She pushes the gate. The hinge gives, but the part that ought to move doesnâ€™t. Some kind of plant or vine stopping it. She hesitates, not wanting to force it. It didnâ€™t want me to go in, she hears herself telling him, it seemed to want to keep me out.
In the rented bungalow, in the middle of the night, she woke him up and told him her plan.
â€œWhat?â€ he said. â€œDrive there right now? On your own? Why on earth would you want to do that?â€
She did not reply.
â€œCome here,â€ he said. â€œCome on. Come back to bed.â€
But she was already up. Pulling on her jeans, sticking feet into boots, looking around for her keys.
â€œI need to see it. In the dark. I want to see what itâ€™s like.â€
He stared at her, pushing hair and sleep from his eyes.
â€œBut youâ€™ll see it tomorrowâ€”â€
â€œI want to do it now.â€
â€œWhat, in the bloody middle of the night?â€
â€œItâ€™ll be light in an hour.â€
He gazed at her. His face unreadable, a man used to absorbing the blows. He threw back the covers.
â€œAll right, at least let me come with you.â€
She lowered her eyes.
â€œPlease. I donâ€™t want you to. Donâ€™t make me explain it. I just want to go there on my own.â€
|Download Ebook||Read Now||File Type||Upload Date|
|Epub||May 30, 2020|
Do you like this book? Please share with your friends, let's read it !! :)