A Witch Is Born

A witch is born when a candle is placed in a paper lantern and flown into the sky. Her first view of the world – not when she opens her eyes, for that happens much later, but when she becomes aware – is the knowledge of how it feels to float. Flying through the air on a candleholder, the witch feels the wind around her, and begins to understand.


Me: “What do you want for dinner?”
My mother: “Paté.”
Me: “Paté with what?”
My mother: “Paté.”
Me: “You can’t just eat paté out of the jar with a spoon. That’s not dinner.”
My mother, in a whiny voice: “But I want patéeeee…”
Me: “You can have paté if you have salad with it.”
My mother: *huffs* “Fine.”

Naturally, she then left most of the salad, but that made the hamsters happy, so I’m not complaining.

Room Temperature

My mother and I, sequestered away in a house in the Scottish hills, a roaring fire in front of us complementing the howling wind outside. A melted camembert sits on the floor between us, waiting to be devoured, and I have just uncorked a bottle of wine. The glug-glug-glug as it reaches the glasses, one of the most promising sounds in the world, makes us both smile.

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Plastic Fruit

My mother: “I just saw some plastic fruit in a charity shop, so I had to buy it.”
Me: “Oh.”
My mother: “Who buys plastic fruit anyway? I mean, it’s ridiculous! Who would ever want to buy it?”
Me: “Didn’t you just buy some plastic fruit?”
My mother: “Yes, but that’s different.”


The girl stood outside the telephone box.

It was raining; one of those English nights where the light turns everything blue.

The girl was small. She could just about reach the handle of the red door behind her, but it was too heavy for her to pull open. She’d tried. It had earned her a stern look from inside the box.

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