There is a green hill

The solace of community

Featured in

  • Published 20210504
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-59-7
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I’D BEEN IN the house on Abbeyfield Road in Sheffield less than a week when Jack first arrived. It was a tall terrace, and narrow, with nothing but a small entry hall on the ground floor. Jack arrived with a sharp, determined ring of the doorbell, repeated three times. My housemate Richard bounded down to open the front door. I heard the voices echoing up from the narrow landing – Richard’s cheerful welcome and then a smaller voice, something I couldn’t make out. While condensation steamed the kitchen windows, I carried on preparing my standard student dinner by cutting a cross on a potato, sticking a fork into its side and placing it in the oven.

Even before I had closed the oven door I smelt Jack’s arrival. Stale cigarette smoke, damp clothes, piss. I looked up and there he was, paper thin, his skin dry and pale. And he was tiny: barely up to my armpit.

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About the author

Kathryn Heyman

Kathryn Heyman’s memoir, Fury, is published by Allen & Unwin. She is the director of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program and Honorary Professor of...

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