London Park by Tania Hershman

The pathway slides away as trees peer down onto the boy, his hand stuck in his mother’s. The benches sway like drunks, and a lamp-post, untoppled, guards manfully the walking of the strollers. A leaf calls from the ground, and messy grass bears witness to the winter’s hang. Into her coat she whispers, as if hidden microphones spy slippily on strange and sudden longings. The boy, his hand suspended, carries her along and he, carried too, lifts feet, one then the other, into view and out again. And when they leave, the park’s edge holds them frozen til the lights, cars staring as if curious, blink for them. The road allows the crossing, and the mother, hand-in-hand still, lifts up her head to blinking clouds and watches grey skies locking.

Commended by the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers, The White Road And Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction), Tania Hershman’s first collection, is a combination of science-inspired stories and flash fiction. Tania is fiction-writer-in-residence at Bristol University’s Science Faculty, editor of the Short Review and judge of three short story competitions. She reads a lot of short stories.

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