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The only window that she can force open is the top sash, pushing its warped wood down into the deep. Climbing over, she is higher than she thought she would be, suddenly aware of the Victorian glass that has been travelling slowly for a hundred years, so the top of the pane is like ice laced across a lake. Such frailty. Her skirt is hitched high and she tries to touch her toes on each sill, inner thighs kissing a cold mirror. Suddenly, she is swaying on a rotten boat, holding the side rope, rigging that hasn’t been uncovered for years, flaking paint fine as fish bone, the sea angry beneath. Catching her knee on the latch, the bruise of late afternoon starts to darken. Inside, a cold lightbulb hangs like a dead bird and she swims alone across the dark water of carpet, guilt tangling around her ankles like seaweed. She gets undressed and runs a bath brim-full, waiting for him to come back and turn the lock, knowing he will be unable to resist her call.
About Olga Dermott-Bond
Olga is originally from Northern Ireland and was the winner of the BBC Proms poetry competition in 2019. Her first pamphlet apple, fallen is published by Against the Grain Press. She was selected as one of the emerging poets on Radio 4 for Bedtime Stories for the End of the World, and has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines including: Rattle Magazine, Magma, Under the Radar and Best Microfiction 2019. She is a teacher in a secondary school in Warwickshire and has two daughters.