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Sugarmilk Falls

by Ilona Van Mil

An atmospheric and compelling novel in which the inhabitants of the remote community of Sugarmilk Falls look back on sinister events that occurred some 20 years ago.

Extract

In the dawn greyness he looked at what he'd done and was appalled. The mutilated corpse still smouldered on the dying embers. Nearby the river rushed towards the falls. It had been a very difficult thing to do, a great deal harder than expected. What now? Another imperative glowed in the exhausted blackness of his brain. Yes, it was his turn. He went to the edge of the river. In the half light the water roared past, black, shiny, foaming, rearing over the rocks, roaring towards the precipice. He threw the gun and the knife far into the river and waited. Go on, he told himself. After what he'd just done it was the only way left. Only annihilation remained. But what had he done that required his own annihilation? He turned around and looked back at what was left of Marina, what was left of her funeral pyre. He remembered only fragments. He had killed her, but wasn't that an accident? He must have brought her here, after Mass he thought though he couldn't recall it clearly. Did anyone see him? Was he in a state of panic? He must have got together enough wood, damp wood too. How had he done that? How did he get the fire going? Oh, yes, the can of gasoline. How had he kept it burning so long? He'd seen his hands covered with blood. He'd only wanted to remove all evidence of the shooting. Maybe the bullet could be traced back to him. Get rid of the bullet. Destroy the body. The first bullet penetrated his bookcase. Get rid of the damaged books. He'd rearranged them on the shelf to cover up the splintered wood behind them. It was soft, the hole small. He smoothed it with his letter opener. You wouldn't see it now unless you were looking for that kind of a hole. The second bullet .... His mind refused to go there again but he'd gotten rid of that one too.

Parallels

The Whaleboat House by Mark Mills
 

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