In Domestic Darkness

Good Housekeeping

After disposing of the body, Ella returned from the lake. Crimson leaves scuttled like crabs across the road, reminding her to clean the bloodstains.

At home she vacuumed thoroughly; the bag almost bursting with a grey harvest of hair, dead skin and scurf, and the odd dried pea.

She was woken at midnight by slumping shuffles and dust puffing from a patchwork monstrosity.

Should have emptied the bag, dear, it wheezed before descending on her.

Late Returns

The grimoire squirmed in my grasp, the cover soft, oily, whisper-thin pages undulating. It pressed itself into my hands.

‘This book’s late!’ the librarian said, ‘Your fee is to return it to its proper shelf.’

She pointed to the aisle’s abyssal throat, where slack-mouthed, white faces peeked from behind eternal rows.

I’ve walked formless depths for uncountable days, and deeper, past tomes unpublished.

Although I can’t find its home, I’ve returned to the low country.