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By Trezza Azzopardi

Publish yr note: First released in 2003

Winnie could say she's no hassle. She's content material to allow the times cross via, minding her personal enterprise, bothering no-one. She'd particularly no longer remember the earlier and, at seventy two, doesn't see a lot aspect in considering the longer term. but if her closed lifestyles is shattered by way of a random act of violence, Winnie is catapulted out of her exile. Robbed of every thing she owns, she embarks on a trip to trace down the thief - yet she quickly unearths that what all started as a look for stolen assets has turn into the rediscovery of a stolen life.

Literary Awards
Wales publication of the 12 months (2005)

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Mine wasn’t a home with a television set or a video participant, there has been no computing device, no jewelry in packing containers, no funds. All it had used to be empty rooms, and me. And it wasn’t even my condo. None of this mattered to her. She used to be trying to find whatever else solely, yet I didn’t comprehend it then; I purely heard her as she got here. I’d settled for the evening within the nook of what was front bed room, tucked myself in subsequent to the alcove the place it was once hotter. the woman stopped on the doorway, then went over to the hearth, conserving her arms out for a minute in entrance of the warmth. i presumed possibly she hadn’t noticeable me; until you have been having a look, I’d be effortless to overlook. I watched her slip throughout to the a ways finish of the room. at the wall, her shadow was once great. From the nook, she studied me. the fireplace died down and that i stored nonetheless. I wasn’t afraid, then; she may well please herself, is what i presumed. She’s just a woman, and never the 1st I’d obvious at the streets. She did not anything for your time, simply stood there. The wind used to be butting on the glass, yet she didn’t shift. She was once black within the darkness, and whilst she eventually moved, it used to be a creeping factor she did: slowly, slowly, feeling her far more than to the place I lay. i presumed she wouldn’t take any observe of me. i used to be incorrect. I closed my eyes and saved nonetheless, like a mouse within the shadow of a cat. the following factor I knew, her palms have been on my face. I couldn’t glance; i used to be enjoying lifeless, and she or he used to be so speedy, working her hands over my head, below my chin, alongside my neck. And simply as fast, she used to be away, leaping the treads on the backside of the steps, shrieking like a firework as she landed. i'll consider my middle, like a poultry, trapped in its cage, banging at my ribs. She wasn’t out. She used to be within the corridor. She was once relocating in the course of the again of the home. A shunt of sash, a blast of air: she used to be long gone. I stayed really nonetheless. i feel i used to be in surprise. The day got here up and confirmed me an empty room, a useless hearth, a blue morning. All that I had left was once the plastic bag with the face on it. I saved it in my within pocket, subsequent to my center. She didn’t get that. It’s purely one other loss; it’s now not as though I’ve been harmed. I’d prefer to say she didn’t contact a hair on my head, yet that will be a lie. every thing I’ll take my time. It won’t do to overlook issues out. I’m yes I’d by no means noticeable her earlier than: names won’t stick with me, yet a face is my prisoner for all times. I’d been residing in the home for an outstanding whereas. To be immediately, i used to be residing in precisely the upstairs room. It wasn’t continually empty both; humans got here and went. I didn’t brain them and so they didn’t brain me, and infrequently we knew one another. It was a store, on a parade that was once choked with outlets: Arlott’s the butcher, a bakery with its bicycle open air, a submit workplace run by means of previous ladies who gave the impression of twins; and this one at the finish, which was once a posh cobbler’s. It had an indication painted in gold around the window: Hewitt’s Shoe maintenance and Fittings, with Bespoke picked out in smaller lettering beneath. front was once already boarded up whilst I got here again, however the phrases have been nonetheless there within the glass; you'll see them, etched backwards, from the interior.

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