Void [extract]

by Luke Otley

She felt like she was mourning over something, but she didn’t know what. She was gripped by a terrible nostalgia that refused to pass. What now huh? It’s so hard to face another day, so hard, and I can’t even get a good night’s sleep… And the tears they threatened, they welled, behind her now tightly shut eyes. She could see the darkening shades of brick – red – as the kitchen light hit her eye lids, she could feel her hands clasped in her lap, feel the material of her favourite dressing gown brushing against her lower thigh and as she tangibly registered her surroundings she, in growing exasperation, pursued and chased and grasped why – how – suddenly she was feeling like this.

There was a click, and the kettle was boiled for a second time. She opened her eyes, dabbing the wetness with the sleeve of her gown, and poured the water into the waiting cup. I’ve still got Amber, she’s a good kid. Her other children, grown now, had moved out. And the house had quietened, the dinner table had shrunk to three, and where there was once noise, and laughter, and mess, there was now something of a void.