Slow Fade.

Her father vanished when the world was Kodak. She barely remembers him. She has this photo of him that she has kept; though god knows how she’s managed this. He sits in a deck chair in a back garden, bank of roses, timber shed, flannel trousers, a white shirt unbuttoned at the throat, at the wrist, rolled shy of his elbow revealing a tattoo of some description. His hair is greased and he’s laughing or saying something to her mother (behind the camera?). The slow fade of 30 years this June. 

Her mother, she recalls, hung sails of white sheeting from the clothesline, deft. A seemingly constant peg in her mouth and one for Louella to play with. The sheets bellowed and the line bowed, strung between a clasp above the kitchen window to another fixed to a hook on the side of the shed. A pole between, leaning this way and that in the post-war breeze. She remembers a bowl of porridge cooling on the kitchen windowsill, but this could have happened once or every day of early childhood.

Her mother died when she was 15. After the funeral she took the bible from the dresser to the scrap of woods behind the flats and set light to it with kitchen matches: made a husk of it; and, dousing the fire with glassed water from the Quaggy beneath the sorry looking elm, jarred a clutch of limp bluebells and set the vessel down among the pages of ash.


It was, if the truth be told, always something of a half life in the end. Perhaps it always had been. The cards revealed the hidden and made sense of the visible.

And then she told him all about the past.

11 thoughts on “Slow Fade.

  1. ‘The sheets bellowed and the line bowed, strung between a clasp above the kitchen window to another fixed to a hook on the side of the shed.’

    But somehow I feel they could break free from the line and take to the sky at any moment, and, once free, go on sailing the breeze forever…

    Weaving a work of art out of the daily grind 👌

    Liked by 1 person

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