I love Ellipsis Zine. One of my favourite and earliest flashes (Like Making Bread) was published there and in general they always publish wonderful stories so I couldn’t be happier that Steve Campbell has decided to give this one a home. I wrote the first draft during one of the ekphrastic meetings we organise(d) with my group in Geneva, inspired by an artwork by Canadian artist David Blackwood titled Hauling Job Sturge’s House, from 1979.
Here is how it begins:
They came from the village right before dawn, covered in thick wool clothes that left just enough space for the arms to move. I could only see their eyes through the gap between the berets and the scarves. They entered the house, an empty skeleton by now, all its contents safe. If anything, I had to appreciate that, at least. Many of these people had not been as lucky, the waters had come first.
In line, following Byrne’s lead, they removed one glove to shake my hand, and pat my back. The small procession reminded me of when my grandfather died, and then my father after him. Always in this house by the cliff.
Photo credits: David Blackood, Hauling John Sturge’s House