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Cornish pasties

Something touched my face. I was aware of light through my eyelids but would not open my eyes for fear of what I should see. A hand was lifting me. I could visualize it­ –...

An interminable night

I could no longer see my hand before my face: I might as well have been blind. I thought of the miners, who had worked down here. At least they had had lanterns. But even...

On a knife-edge

Jane had been there before – or rather, Cynthia. In John Christopher’s The Caves of Night, after a caving accident, she finds herself clinging on to the edge of an abyss, with the weight of...

‘Scream, if you like’

He moved towards me without haste. For an instant I was paralysed, a rabbit in front of a stoat; before fear changed and spurred me to action. I managed to get to my feet as...

Like a rat in a drain

I had already noticed a small hill rising out of the rolling contour of the moor, and now saw a building huddled beside it, or the ruin of one. It was low-lying, with a shattered...

The second Lady Bedivere

From his pocket he took a small black velvet bag, tied with black cord. He undid the cord and opened it, tipping the contents into his free hand. Stones flashed in the lamplight. They were...

I thought it was tin!

Long before Jane was pushed down a mine-shaft, before her fictional contemporary Alice fell down the rabbit-hole, even before King Arthur trod the bleak landscape, people had been coming to the west country for tin....

A darker face

I would not deny what had happened to me under the Arthur tree, nor belittle it. His kiss had aroused a feeling in me I had never known or imagined. I could vouch for my...

All for nothing

The rain had gone, the dusk was calm, the sky glowing in the west, and I felt the need for fresh air after being cooped up all day in the house. And the need for...