The Earth Beneath The Sky Above

From Planet 227

A short story by Jo Mazelis

The children were sent to their grandmother’s house in the Welsh countryside every year, but as they grew older they became aware of something out of place, a misalignment on the map; an oppression that like the mist on certain mornings hung in low clouds, grey and cloying. Greg, at seventeen, resented exile in Wales the most. Alice was fifteen and although uneasy was resigned to it. Even the two little ones, who were nine and eleven, mooched around restlessly.

They all knew from experience that their grandmother’s house held a beast called boredom which dangled from the hands of the big clock in the kitchen slowing them down. Boredom, which woke them too early and kept them awake at night. Boredom that blurred their eyes when in desperation they tried to read. Boredom must have got inside their grandmother’s radio too as every station fizzed and crackled except for the one she liked. Outside, boredom crept nearby, not a wolf, but a slug.

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