The Scab on his Left Knee

We’d bunked off school that afternoon. Me and Pauline were lying in the tall grass. Henry was sitting away, with his back to us. For ages I looked, at his dark hair, deep black, almost purple, like a crow, and the whiteness of his neck, like ice-cold milk. His head was down, and he was picking at the scab on his left knee, pulling bits off and eating them. I could see the contours and the colour of his back where the shirt was stretched tight across it. The sun was high, and I was holding onto Pauline, and hoping … Continue reading The Scab on his Left Knee

Lemon Perfume

One time after school, I’d gone back to Yvonne’s place. We sat in the living room, watching television. Mrs Morelli brought us cups of tea and slices of fruit cake on a tray decorated with labels from Italian liquor bottles. After she’d put the tray onto the coffee table, she lit a cigarette with the golden flip-top lighter on the mantelpiece. She clamped the cigarette in her mouth, looked in the mirror over the mantel, and fixed her hair until she was satisfied. I watched her without turning my head, because I didn’t want her to know that I was … Continue reading Lemon Perfume