Only evil acts need excuses.
Betty said that once. She said it in the same way in which she said most things: out of the blue and unprovoked.
At the time, I thought that maybe she was talking about her lovers - the strangers she opened her body to; the men whose love was too nervous to dive past the surface of Betty’s ocean. Now I wonder though if she was actually talking about him - the one who was not only at the bottom waiting for her but who was also the ocean itself: deep, dark and living.
Betty’s love for him was too real to be unforgiving.
- Written by Heather Babcock, October 2013
“The night was very cold and although the chill in the wind made his eyes water, Conrad felt unusually and acutely aware of his surroundings. The cold temperature made the city’s objects, animals and people seem more pronounced and immediate – the unpleasant became repulsive, the ordinary became beautiful.
When Conrad saw Rebecca however, the city folded into itself like black and white newsprint.
She was standing on the same corner, in front of Franky Burger, wearing the same hideous pink jacket and silver shoes. Her back was to him and Conrad approached her softly, quietly. He stood behind her; far enough away so as not to startle her but close enough to smell her. The cold air lifted her scent – tobacco mixed with freshly sliced melon- and Conrad inhaled, taking her in. He willed the wind to blow her hair backwards – he wanted to feel the red strands whip his face.”
-Excerpt from my short story “Rebecca”, published in The Toronto Quarterly issue 9. Order here: