I’m currently working on a short story called Calling Time about a woman caring for her ill mother. Underlying the love the woman has for her mother, there is a real sense of exhaustion and a ‘I don’t know how much longer I can do this’ feeling. In the excerpt below, she wakes after a particularly restless night.
When the morning finally arrives, the storm has left its mark. Water drips off the bedroom ceiling with an elegance and precision that I expect belies the destruction it is wreaking in the unseen space above. I stare up at the blooming stain but there’s no divine guidance to be found within its coffee-coloured territory. Maybe God isn’t interested in pandering to non-believers.
I lay in longer than normal – much longer than the routine dictates – before shuffling over to open the curtains. The fly screen, sitting loose in its frame, seems beaten by age, its once vibrant aluminium replaced by the dull patina typical of salvage stores. The windowsill only reinforces this sense of weariness, littered as it is by millions of tiny carcasses and piles of flaking paint. I consider brushing the mess onto the floor. Reconsider. Do it anyway.