Landfall single work   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014 2014
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'They sail across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean. When the boat docks in Port Said people in dark robes climb on board with baskets of goods. There are smells that Henry does and does not recognise. Fish. Spices. It is night time when they pass through the Suez Canal. Later there is Ceylon and the family leave the boat. They go to a market and Henry shows them the fruit he used to eat as a boy: mango, custard apple, persimmon. He bites the tough skin off a lychee and holds the fruit out to Charlotte. She opens her mouth, and as the fruit releases its flavour she thinks back over the many Christmases that she has wrapped an orange in tissue paper and placed it carefully in the bottom of her husband's stocking. All of a sudden an orange no longer seems exotic, but plain and sour. Henry buys a watch from another stall, then they take a taxi through the streets and get lost, making it back to the boat just before it sails. Not long after this they cross the equator; there is a party and the captain of the ship dresses up as King Neptune. It is hot and everyone is sunburnt, at night the cabins are unbearable; some have taken to sleeping on the deck. One morning another ship, returning to England, passes at a distance. The groups of passengers call to one another but the signs are not good - the passengers on the returning ship wave their arms in the direction of Europe, some swinging their arms in a cross above their heads as if to say stop, go no further. But then the ships move away from one another, Charlotte forgets the encounter and a few days later they see land.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Island no. 138 2014 8639588 2014 periodical issue 2014 pg. 78-83
Last amended 6 Oct 2016 16:28:35
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