Swell

By Rod McRiven

General fiction, Literary fiction, New adult fiction

Paperback, eBook

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719
1 mins

Part One (excerpt)

He sits in his deck-chair cradling a mug of tea and there he remains for a minute or two, eyes closed, acclimatising himself once again to his makeshift kingdom. He stretches his long legs and welcomes the dim crush of emerging light. A contented sigh slips through his teeth and he allows the tacky remains of a dreamless sleep to stitch the current day into a seamless extension of the day before where the interruption of evening and night-time were nothing more than a vacant interlude in the ebb and flow of his existence.

Part Two (excerpt)

She replaced the scrubbing brush on the draining board and unhurriedly opened a side drawer, picked out a small paring knife from amongst the neatly arranged utensils and began to peel a potato. With each long cut, a curl of freckled skin dropped onto the pages of a newspaper she had spread on the draining board and with every third or fourth curl, she dipped the knife into the sink, half filled with brown water, and swished it vigorously backwards and forwards, punishing the water or the knife for the rising foulness of her temper.

Part Three (excerpt)

He had first taken notice of her some two months earlier but only in the way a person might sense rather than truly see an object has been added to a familiar landscape. Over the following two weeks, day by day, she gradually seeped into his consciousness until, like pavements and kerb stones, she also became a staple component of his routine walk to work. After a few more days, he caught himself deliberately seeking her out and the thought and vision of her grew within him. He transfixed her to his mind, knitting images and dreamy impressions of her into his swelling desires and yet no words had passed between them. Whenever there was a close encounter and one of them became aware of the proximity to the other they would not exchange glances or smiles but turn their eyes to the pavement or to their separate shadows and give a discrete nod of the head as if preoccupied with more important matters.

Part Four (excerpt)

Now miss, tell us everything you know - Me? Everything? Golly Gee! She really wanted to help, to be useful and explain the circumstances in which she had found him but the instant she opened her mouth to speak, faces in the crush swelled up, surrounding her, and it was difficult to breathe. She was made quite dizzy by the milling throng of musky young men dressed in matching white shirt sleeves and dark ties. Two of them were dressed differently; both wore a white coat buttoned to the neck, an elasticated plastic cap and rubber gloves. Each carried a clipboard tucked under their arm at which they occasionally scowled as they ducked in and out of the hut. To a man, they were eager to demonstrate they were making a special effort just for her, treating her as somebody who had done something courageous rather than someone who had merely been lucky enough to discover a dead body.



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