The house sat on the edge of the estate, like a raised scar on skin, hidden behind trees and a high fence. You could strain to look over it, see the long grass and the outbuildings, how the trees cast long shadows over everything and in my fevered child’s mind, I imagined that you could walk on the wrong part and just disappear into the ground. Swallowed up too fast to scream and then you would imagine Mum going from frustration to anger to fear and back again. At that age, you don’t think of pain, or grief, the horrors and potential agonies of life are written in broad strokes rather than the subtle, horrible things that cling to you like dirt beneath your soul’s fingernails.
I found books and trying to make my own easier to spend time with than other children my age. I was always so…
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