“Doe Lea”

by uzwi

“We wondered if you needed help,” the woman said.

They stood smiling at the top of the townhouse steps, quite thin and tall–in their sixties, I thought, but still calmly attractive–dressed very simply–and I went up into their house, which didn’t have as many rooms as you might expect for a place that size. It was tall and deep, but it was thin–a slice through a terrace, among other tall, thin elegant slices. “Let’s have tea inside,” the woman said. “It’s so much cooler in here.”

“Let’s have it in cups!” the man said, as if this was a new idea. “Give me your coat and I’ll put it on the back of this chair.”

So I gave him my coat and had a cup of tea, and they asked me how I had got to Doe Lea. They smiled when I told them about the broken train and the way I had wandered around the town; but when I described the little cliff with its wavelike architecture and its colonies of bees, they looked at one another puzzledly.

“Bees?” the man said, and shook his head. The woman shook her head too and said:

“We’ve never heard of anything like that.”

–“Doe Lea”, a simple story of ghosts, due soon from Nightjar Press in a signed and numbered edition of 200 copies. Details as soon as they arrive. No reprints, so keep an eye open here, at Nightjar or @mjohnharrison on Twitter, and pre-order as soon as you can.

“…a dreamlike journey through landscapes that shimmer and are populated by uncanny subjects. It begs the question of what memories are and how they serve us.” —Lucie McKnight Hardy, author of Water Shall Refuse Them, Dead Ink Books.