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Last Fling

by Sue Gee

These are short stories which convey moods so precisely – and with a painter’s eye for detail – that there doesn't need to be any complex character development. Lyrical and delicate they describe how we are, or what random memories might fill our consciousness, in the final movement of life.


Extract

She fell asleep thinking of Daniel. Someone must tell him: he would want to know. She woke in the middle of the night, shaking from head to foot. I've caught my death, she thought, right in the middle of summer. Feverish wordplay filled her. Could you catch your death? Wasn't it death that caught you? Beyond her curtained window she could hear an owl- a little owl, with that high-pitched cry, a creature she had known all her life, just part of the night, and being here, but now it sounded frightening and shrill, and she reached, trembling, to switch on the lamp. The pool of light on radio and glass and pile of books brought instant relief: she was safe, the shadowy room around her full of things she cared about: that chair, with the rug folded over the back, those old watercolours, the jug on the chest which Steff had filled with roses, her violin, resting in the corner. She would never play again.

Parallels

Daylight and Dusk by Janet Frame
Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff
Beyond the Blue Mountains by Penelope Lively
 

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