Callie’s life is spent caring for others – for Frey, her client, and for Noah, her brother. When a tragic car accident shatters her family, she’s left alone with her mother Vanessa. Vanessa’s favourite child was Noah; Callie’s favourite parent was her dad. Now they’re stuck with each other – the leftovers of their family – and they’ll have to confront the ways they’ve been hurt, and the ways they’ve passed that hurt on to others.
Part of chapter 1
On the evening my brother and father die, I learn a curious lesson about time.
It’s a warm, bright evening, and the four of us are sitting in the kitchen. Our bellies are pleasantly full of the takeaway meal we always share on the last night of our two-week shift.
Frey had special fried rice, because he always does. Josh and I can have anything we want, but we’ve both caught Frey’s habit of sameness, and it’s good to have a favourite. So I had beef chow mein, and Josh had chicken curry and chips, and now everyone’s faintly sleepy and reluctant to move.
The kitchen is peaceful and homely. The dishwasher’s humming and splashing, and Frey has wiped down every inch of the dining table – top, sides and legs – with his slow, peaceful movements. Josh and I are drinking coffee. Frey has a cup of tea, sweet and milky. The curve of his fingers around his mug, the small murmurs in the back of his throat as he drinks it, tell me I’ve made it exactly to his liking, and I feel warm. Warmth inside me, from my simple accomplishment.
Warmth against my neck from sunlight through glass. Warmth at my feet because Floss, lazy and content, has come to lie there, the shredded silk of her ears soft against my ankles.
Thank you, Cassandra Parkin and Legend Press
About the author
Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories.