by Sarah Salway
Outside the kitchen window, the daylily grows with every cup of tea you make, exploding from the top of its delicate stalk, cells popping into the early summer air. It’s as loud as the helicopter flying low overhead when later you post your library books back one by one, the sound of each hitting the metal floor of the overnight drop box, and the blind man who turns to you, asks if you’ve ever been to Thailand, he’s never had a woman friend before, and as arm in arm you cross the road to his bus stop, he says he listened to a scary story last night and had to sleep with his hands covering his ears so no more words could post themselves back into his head. It’s funny, he says, not smiling, then he asks if he can cup your chin, holds it close to his face as if you’re the daylily and he can hear you growing.
When I was a child, I was besotted by miniature things—dolls houses, tiny books, chihuahuas - and so it's not surprising that I now love writing very short stories. With Lily, I wanted to play with a collage-style explosion of senses, and how we sometimes choose to limit these senses to avoid being overwhelmed-—or indeed to face reality.
Sarah Salway has published three novels including The ABCs of Love, one book of short stories and two poetry collections. Her short work was recently selected for Best Microfiction 2019 and Best Small Fictions 2019. She lives in Kent with her family, and her website is www.sarahsalway.co.uk