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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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 The Visit

by Sara Crowley




Betty in a hospital bed, pillow too flat, mattress uncomfortable, operation over. Eighty-six, in pain, her dead brother holding her hand.

“Bugger off Peter.”

A cold dread crawled up her body, goose bumping. Betty lay, frozen, wondering why it was not her late husband or perhaps her mother who came to take her.

Betty in a rocking chair in her kitchen. Everything to hand. Someone will fetch her dinner in later. There’s a hot pain deep inside. Her mouth is full of sand, her limbs heavy as rocks, dragging. She wishes she’d gone with him.




by Sara Crowley



Birds drip from the trees; dark mixes with reds and yellows, blue oozes from branches. Feathers lay matted around trunks, tiny eyes - still open - shine on their bed of leaves.

There is absence. It’s not immediately obvious; cars, people, planes, mowers, dogs continue their own noise. There is a silence though. A lack. No tweeting, squawking backdrop to normality.

Pooled blood congeals. Jellied innards are exposed. Sludge, foam, stink.