After weeks of making eyes from the other side of Fiction, he plucked up the courage.
His scrawled note said, “Coffee?” Her reply said “Convince me.” She’d read the novels: true love needs a little jeopardy.
But he missed her punctuating smile. He snatched up his satchel and marched away.
Tamsin also believes too much of what she reads in novels.
It’s so far up the beach, her first sandcastle. The bucket is too full. She stumbles. Water sloshes over the rim.
It’s scalding. Her leg blooms with pain.
A nurse prises the teacup from her knotted hand. He leads her slowly to a chair. It’s so far up the ward.
Tamsin wrote this story during quite a long walk.
A breeze scuttles through the jostling limbs of the coppiced chestnuts, and they clatter like masts in a marina.
In my imagination, when the hill is stripped bare, these trees will be crafted into green-winged ships, thrusting proudly towards the broad horizon.
In reality, I know they’ll become fence posts.
Tamsin keeps finding herself writing about trees – but then, literally, we can’t live without them.
That first, immaculate, unfurling leaf. It knocked her sideways every year, felled her with its soft, green promise.
So many dead months of waiting. Did the arms of the beech sprawl up in silent prayer? Did they cling to the same frail hope? Maybe… this time… spring would never end.
Tamsin is certainly very glad to have escaped another grey British winter.
“Choklat,” he demanded, his eyes glistening.
She was buying him ice cream. Again. Because she adored the way his little tongue twisted into the cone, chasing down the last oozing dregs.
And because, when he gleefully wiped his sticky fingers across his cardigan, she knew her suppressed resentment was justified.
Tamsin can currently be found poking writing with a stick, and then running away scared.