Do I have to go? I say.
I said youd be there by half past nine, says Mam. Mrs Evans has to go to Price the Dentist. Hes in town this morning, but only for a couple of hours. So hurry yourself.
Dont make me go, Mam.
Mam lifts the teapot and pours a steaming brown stream into each cup.
Dont be silly, she says. Now, have your cup of tea, brush that hair and get your Wellingtons on.
But its not raining.
The fields will still be wet after the snow. Ill take this tea up to your father and wake Bethan. I want you in your Wellingtons ready to go when I come down.
Mam picks up the biggest cup and saucer, the ones with A Present from Llandudno written on them in gold, and opens the living room door. The cup trembles on the saucer. She looks back at me. You have to go, she says.
The door closes behind her and I listen to her slippers slapslapping all the way up to the bedroom.
Excerpted from The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan Copyright © 2009 by Mari Strachan. Excerpted by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher
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No Man's Land
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