This article is taken from Stand 219, 16(3) August - September 2018.

Mary Michaels Three Stories


From inside the window pane, so heavy it seems to be melting the glass, twisting the walls of the buildings opposite, warping the roofs. Above the persistent hiss of the camera, a drumming on tiles and tarmac gets steadily louder as the downpour accelerates.

Bombarded by water, the roadway smokes and buckles.

Brand new houses in units of two. Their frontages alternate the length of the Avenue, pebble-dash the ground floor, black and white above, the glazing generous.

Such a flood of light in the sitting room, it stuns and bleaches out the carpet and furnishings. Every inch of curtain sewn by the bride – it had been a rush to get them all hemmed and up before the honeymoon. Unlike some other houses in the street, where only the front-facing windows are hung. Although textiles were on offer with the furniture, insurance arranged. There was gas, electricity already connected.

But the planting has been skimped on this development; winter or summer, it always looks bleak.

Every evening walking home from the train, she has the same fear; of turning the corner and finding nothing there.


The shelter is shared with the couple next door who, however, take liberties; installing themselves before the siren’s heard and staying inside long after the All Clear.

Eighteen months into the hostilities, the proportion of children sleeping in these structures is well below what had been intended or ...
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image