Night of the Storm

‘Night of the Storm’ was first published in Tears in the Fence 33 (2002), and now appears in Reasoning: Twenty Stories.

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That was the year I lived with Manon in a cottage in the hills near Penisarwaun. Manon had just finished her first degree, and since I did not start research till October we had the whole summer together.

We had no money. Only Manon was working. The cwt was the holiday home of an English lady past travelling, who reckoned, all the same, she was doing us a favour. The electricity suffered from brown-outs, and the outdoor toilet permanently smelled. The garden was rank with elder and honeysuckle, which we harvested to make wine.

It was hot that summer. We grumbled at first, blamed global warming, surrendering at last to a holiday mood as the continental warmth overpowered us. By some miracle we borrowed a car and went touring, visiting Snowdon, Tre’r Ceiri, Bardsey Island, the Shuttle Falls. The news spoke of bush fires on the continent, and in Britain the reservoirs ran low. Our little Metro, old as indifference, drank fuel…

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