Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Find something ugly in the nets and you throw it back. That’s how it is in my world. Not in hers. She displayed her deformed catches in the museum and wrote about them endlessly.

We had just one thing in common: we trawled the depths.

The contents of this box are the last of her. The unpublished writings of a grave robber. I don’t believe in hanging onto the past.

As the flames snatch at the pages her last article, The Iron Age Castle, is published to the wind, together with umpteen letters from the hospital and a handwritten order of service with her name on it.

A Valentine’s card with a big red heart, signed with just a question mark. I don’t even remember sending that. Which proves my point. I used to argue with her: how can you say what people were doing two thousand years ago when we can’t even remember facts from our own lives?

Another layer of things from a much earlier time. A newspaper cutting: New findings at Bronze age burial mounds. Stacks of lecture notes bundled up with string. Exercise books: A history of Greyling Bay, parts one, two and three. What a bloody waste of paper. I told her that nobody would read it. Now they never will.

Photos of the twins’ first Christmas. I’ll keep those.

Another article: The Mesolithic Fisherman of Greyling Bay. It’s about how hard it was for the Stone Age settlers to fish. All of this from some pieces of flint.

Photographs of the wedding. Even in the best suit she could afford to buy me it’s still obvious that the posh totty had potted her bit of rough. Our black and white selves, smiling and innocent, are cremated as one.

Last is a letter, dated five years after we married. It’s not like her to have anything out of order. It’s on headed paper from the University, and although the writing looks like a woman’s it is signed Malcolm.

Dear Cerys,
I don’t know why you are avoiding me, I only want to see the twins and…
The letter ignites.

Find something ugly in the nets and you throw it back. That’s how it is in my world.

Allan Mayer


Anonymous said...

Great story told so economically. Love the archaeology theme.
Sally - I'm thinking of creating a story (or maybe a language) from these verification words.I've had some gems recently.


Anna Russell said...

I really enjoyed your writing style. You've said so much in few words - something I think every writer tries to master. Intruiging characters too.

Anna xxx