by Richard Skinner
A Venetian nun and an eccentric composer: what can they possibly have in common? Quite a lot, as these two novellas show: a life of order and beauty, a quest for meaning. But their destiny will startle and move you in very different ways. I can say no more without spoiling your enjoyment!
I died yesterday. I was 59 years of age, which most people would consider old, but not me. All the years I was young people said to me: 'You will see when you are 50.' When I was 50, I didn't see anything. Growing old is a habit I never acquired because I was too busy living.
My life was a neverending search for whiteness. But my search has, except for a few brief moments, been in vain. I wanted to live every day as if it were my first, & my last, but the exigencies of life kept me from the purity of my purpose. My death, however, was calm & well ordered, just how I wanted it.
The Underground Man by Mick Jackson
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino