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Clack-clack sway

“I don’t know why you bother with him,” said her mother leaning over the bags that were placed between them. The reassuring clack-clack of the suburban train shuddered through Eliza’s feet as she frowned out the window. Outside frozen faces turned, bleached by sunlight, held for an instant then gone. Whipped trees. Lines of grass folding away.

Clack-clack, sway. Clack-clack, sway.

Eliza’s mother peered into the array of shiny shopping bags with her afternoon fingers (“they get so swollen towards the end of the day,” she’d moan, rubbing her worn diamond ring round and round). Dull sunlight through scratched opaque windows lay thickly on Eliza’s shoulder.

“You shouldn’t have paid full price,” Eliza’s mother commented, making a tsk sound. “I know you; you’ll only get one wear out of them before you put it to the back of the wardrobe.”

Clack-clack, sway. Clack-clack, sway.

Eliza watched an abandoned piece of candy, an old fashioned gobstopper, roll up and down an indent in the floor like a marble. Her mother talking was a gentle complement to the movement. A rolling sound, it poured and spilled at her feet, moving with the swaying of the carriage and lulling her. There was some muttering about how infrequently Eliza had been calling of late and something about her sister.

Clack-clack, sway. Clack-clack, sway.

The candy rolled again, up to the end with a little halt, a breath, and a fragment of pause before returning down its path. Again and again.

Eliza smelt the man from two seats down as he stretched his arms above his head. She turned her head to bury her nose in her own recently washed hair. Her mother said something about getting it cut. Eliza tried not to pay attention. Instead she watched the candy rolling up and down the indent and concentrated on the clack-clack sway.

The shopping bags sagged against her as the stop approached, the weighted feeling lifted as the brakes released. Eliza stood to gather herself. Her mother’s voice had gone.

Eliza kicked the rolling gobstopper out of its indent and stood on it heavily as she left.

Clack-clack sway

anya

Joined August 2008

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Artist's Description

For the Twisted Tales 44 – Candy

Artwork Comments

  • Arcadia Tempest
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