by M R James
A View from a Hill
THERE’S MORE TO THIS THAN MEETS THE EYE ….
Here’s an uncanny tale.
An academic, Mr Fanshawe, is enjoying a summer visit to a new friend in the country, Squire Richards. He cycles the two miles from the station to the Squire’s residence, and after tea, the Squire suggests a walk in the surrounding park, so that the visitor can get his bearings for wider exploration during his stay. Mr Fanshawe borrows a pair of binoculars – old fashioned, heavy things, in a box with sharp corners on which he cuts himself as he struggles to open it.
by Michelle de Kretser
Tom Loxley, an Anglo-Indian academic living in Melbourne, loses his dog in the bush, and then, eight days later, finds his dog, but not before de Kretser has taken us into Tom’s inter-continental history, and his mothers’ current failing health and difficult relationship with her sister; his growing obsession with Nelly Zhang, an artist with a secret past; and his developing relationships with Nelly’s circle of bohemian friends. Continue reading
Imagine: an early summer day in the country, and you’re enjoying a view over a golden landscape dotted with the vibrant colours of wild flowers. The sun is warming your back and a light breeze eddies through the long grass. You’re rambling along the edge of a field, listening to the birdsong from the hedgerow, contentedly daydreaming about the lazy afternoon ahead.
But now – you have to climb a wooded hillside. You pass under the trees, and the canopy blocks the sunlight. No birds sing here, and the air is still. You venture forward, but you can’t make out a path. You turn to the right and then the left. It’s not clear which way you need to go. You feel a little anxious, and suddenly sense that someone is watching you. Continue reading