Eleanor Atkins lives in a house with the Others, and has for her entire adult life. Looking back, she starts to ask herself questions about her life that don’t have easy answers. SY
When Eleanor Atkins dreams, it is of ordinary things. Going to church and organising the woollens for the jumble sale. Sorting the tins in her cupboard and finding too much pineapple and beetroot, not enough peaches. Small and ordinary things she misses terribly. Once she was the Queen of her street, knowing all, seeing all from her kitchen at Number Two. Who is late out, late in, how much shopping, who has a visitor in the daytime, who Should Not Be There.
Eleanor misses these things.
She’s always inside. She feels as if she’s been inside all her life, although she does know the smell of a wet dog so surely? Once? She was out.
Of course she used to go outside. Hadn’t she and her husband spent a year travelling the country in a caravan for their honeymoon? Jindabyne, Ballarat, Coober Pedy, Rockingham. She collected coasters from every pub.
And they ate at every Chinese restaurant from Ming’s Palace to Ming’s Garden, from Dragon’s Garden to Golden Dragon, honeyed prawns with their fingers.