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Cento from The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

     Ruth rose from her bed and crossed the room without turning on any lights. The sound of the jungle was full, and everything here was empty. It’s nearly bloody winter. She seemed to be engulfed in an obscure displeasure.

     Ruth hadn’t thought about her feet in some time. Her discarded sandshoes lay by the door. The cats gave her their quizzical attention and then began to bathe.

     She crossed to the window and opened the lace curtains with a dramatic gesture. The moon was full on the space in front of the house, but beyond that it was eaten up by the grassy drive. There were lumps in her lap - they were the leftover pills from yesterday, still in her pockets.

     It doesn’t really bother you to live out here all alone?  Happiness is a matter of choice.

     One more can’t hurt, she thought, and she swallowed a pill dry, gagging on her own sandy spit. I’m not crazy. She took a long bath during which she repeatedly bit the inside of her mouth to stave off self-pity. Ask me how something tastes.

     She poured oranges into a bowl she took from an upper cupboard. What people?

     This is exactly how I imagined you to live.

     She plucked the spare keys from the top of the fridge. In her anger, Ruth kicked a pile of detective novels in the lounge room.

     I have no idea why I’m telling you all this. The grass stood high in the winter garden, and there was no sound besides the sea.

Listen to Aura read "Reading Yesterday's Newspaper" below:

00:00 / 01:40

AURA MARTIN graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She is the author of the micro-chapbook Thumbprint Lizards (Maverick Duck Press). Her work has appeared in FEED, Flypaper Lit, and Kissing Dynamite, among others. In Aura’s free time, she likes to run and take road trips.

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