Waterlogged Added£0.99
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(A short story of 3280 words)



by Lisa Samson

An old woman trapped by floods.

The blackberries have ripened too quickly this year and the best ones are hidden under bramble leaves and nettles. Dark clouds are gathering so I have to be quick, and I get stung and scratched right up my forearms. On the way home the rain falls in sheets over swamped fields where seagulls circle.

At home, I rub fat into flour and watch two flies buzzing around the blackberries as the radio announces that a woman in Wales climbed onto her roof to escape the raging river below her. I imagine her fingers white at the knuckles, desperate tentacles clinging to slippery slates as she waits for emergency services.

Later, my stings tingle under long cotton sleeves, as the bloody juice squirts into Ingrid’s face, then dribbles down her chin and onto her cream blouse. We’ve got the telly on, and we’re watching a man stand helplessly by as his dog is swept to its death in a surging stream that was once a woodland path.

“It’ll get worse before it gets better,” I say, “mark my words.”

“Nice bit of crumble,” she dabs at her purple lips, staining her hanky with scarlet drops, “better than Co-op.”

I’m dying for a cigarette but Ingrid doesn’t like me to smoke in front of her. When the news presenter announces that low-lying areas of Yorkshire are bracing themselves for the rivers to burst their banks, Ingrid rises all in a fluster...

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