This week’s cue word is line
Editor’s note: the following is an extract from a larger work in progress, a ghost story, and features the characters Henry and Marling. You can read a previous extract here.
The straight line of footprints
Henry went over to the sole window of Doctor Lessing’s office, and when he looked with his sole eye he spied the water fountain on the lawn where he had arranged to meet Marling tomorrow at noon; beyond this lay the sprawling avenues and groves of many trees, and the patients wandering the grounds – twinned by their long shadows which fell about them on the grass like phasmids and mantises from the sun’s late afternoon toil.
‘Not a bad view eh?’ Inspector Du Maurier said, joining Henry at the window. ‘If you enjoy looking at crazy people that is.’
‘How do you know they’re crazy?’ said Henry
‘How do you they’re not? Tell me, how’s the eye?’
Henry ran a finger across the lower seam of his eyepatch and replied, ‘There is no eye.’
Du Maurier stared at the one-eyed Henry then looked away, his gaze falling to the same fountain Henry had been looking at in monovision, his detective eyes – even from the second floor of Doctor Lessing’s office – not failing to see the straight line of footprints embedded in the mud, which led from the fountain and into the hospice, as though the ghost of Marling was deliberately leaving clues.