itchyfeetbel

Along the reservoir and up William’s Clough. Sand and grit glisten. Mounds of peat confront me. I press palm and foot onto it; lift my boot, the black stuff clings to it. I think of the sheep wash, how I wish I could wash off the darkness so swiftly. The previous day’s rain is like droplets of eyes that shake with each step, how unstable we are. The villagers’ in the photographs of Hayfield, stand upright and stark as mountains.

My heart thumps as we crinkle foil and eat tuna sandwiches. I take deep breaths of the shifting autumn air. My friend Sarah sits and eats. A wet dog adds sand to her bread and cheese. ‘Come and get your dog’ she shouts.

We make our way along the path. I grip my sister’s arm like moss to a cliffs. The ruffles in her jacket are strange rock formations atop…

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