Nano Day 04It would all begin again tomorrow, in another field. Outside the hay elevator was rumbling, and the adults were still tossing the bales onto it to be stacked on top of the bounty in the barn. The stack was almost up to the corrugated iron roof that arched over them, red with rust, and later, perhaps, she and Idwal would forget that they were growing older and go out and clamber into the stacks and dig out dens and forts and hideaways where no one else would see them.
She and Idwal were inside, leaning against the cupboards in the kitchen, arms still trembling from the physical work, sweat chilling quickly on their skin now they were no longer working. They should go to get changed, but the trembling of arms and the fumbling fingers made it ridiculously impossible to do anything but to stand here, dazed with tiredness, watching their mother as she worked and replying with stock answers to questions that were barely heard. Anwen thought of her bed, and how soft it would feel tonight, and
Nano Day 03And then the week of haying began, when the weather was dry and brittle, and the billows of cut grass were light and dry in their rows on the ground, and nothing could be thought of but getting the hay in and the sheep continued in their fields, blindly ignorant of the fever of activity that was all for their sakes. And their father drove the grey, mud-spattered, thick-tyred tractor into the yard, and patted the metal arches over the great grey wheels, and said;
'Come on, the two of you. We need all the hands we can get.'
And Anwen and Idwal clambered on to the large, flat platforms, and each found a place to grip on the metal that vibrated and jerked under their fingers, and sat clinging on for dear life as their father drove the tractor along the rubble of the track towards the road. The baler was hitched on and towed behind, a monster waiting to consume hay and spit it out like owl pellets, a blessing that saved them from the chaos of haycocks and loose dry grass in bi
Nano Day 02******
He grew like a young tree, like a pig fed on milk and molasses. Anwen watched him, unaware of her own growing, unaware of the maturity that was fed into her with this new, helpless thing in the house.
Her mother and father called him Idwal. For those first few weeks Anwen's time with him was limited. Her mother kept to her bed, and, once the midwife was gone, kept the baby close beside her, persuading her husband to move the Moses basket into their bedroom so that she could lie near him, could sleep when he slept and wake before he awoke. When he cried, his mother picked him up, wrapped in his wrappings, and nestled him to her breast. And she stared at him, unconscious of the presence of anyone else and Anwen stared too, wondering at how special this new thing must be that it made her mother forget her, of all people.
Anwen was kept from the room as much as possible. She ran in in the morning to tweak the blankets and stare at the baby's red, pinched face, and she
Nano Day 011.
His birth was one of the first things that Anwen remembered. The beginning of her life in memory began with the beginning of his. Idwal was her anchor.
Truth be told, she did not remember his actual birth. She had no real memory of him slipping into the world, inevitable and streaked with blood. She recalled the long, slow months of her mother's pregnancy. She remembered the growing, physical thing that held her separate from her mother, that pushed her away, an anthill growing day by day beneath her mother's clothes. As ominous as an anthill. As unwanted.
She remembered the careful explanations, the clearing out of the small room at the back of the house, the re-construction of the cot and the re-painting of each cylindrical dowel that made up the bars in white, gloss paint. She remembered thinking, what kind of creature has to be kept in a wooden cage?
And then that day That day when her mother became preoccupied, and poured out tea onto the breakfast cereal. A