THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

All three of Sarah’s husbands had been a disappointment in some way. The first, Georgie, always wanted to have the last word. He loved proving himself to be right, and often went to tiresome lengths to show that his way of doing things (cutting bread, cleaning shoes, changing gear) was the most ergonomically efficient. 

The second, William, was so self-absorbed that he barely seemed to notice her at all. The third, Ben, had bizarre sexual tastes which involved polyester and squeaky toys. None of them had done a lot for Sarah’s confidence. 

 

Anyhow, there it was. She found herself adrift: a sort of sexual and emotional shipwreck. The right person would never come along. What did she want? Someone both exciting and reassuring, someone both familiar and strange, someone she knew but did not know. The telephone rang in the quiet room, and she listened in astonishment to the voice at the other end. It was her twin brother Duncan, whom she had not seen for some years. He had been in Australia and was coming home. He wanted to see her at last. 

 

On the arranged date, the doorbell sounded twice, as if to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at the same time. She ran to the door and almost tripped in her haste. They stared in astonishment at each other. They were the same flesh, but they were soulmates too. This was someone who would never leave, because they were you: this was someone whose desire would never fade, because they needed to love themselves.  It was a perfect circle. 

 

Sarah and Duncan had not realised how hungry they were, nor did they expect that the hunger would last forever. But it did. Bound by blood and milk, they were rapt away in each other. They moved house and changed their name. Kin was kin, after all. And they lived happily ever after.

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© 2020 by Sue Harper

feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | supernatural | fantastic and paranoia | literary female gothic | gothic narrative | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest | portsmouth university | emeritus professor sue harper | feminist gothic literature | tales of the macabre | fantastic and supernatural | gothic fiction | written by women | gothic literary tradition | gothic fiction | outstanding achievement award | british association of film, theatre and television | professor of film history at portsmouth university | film, media and creative arts | british academy and the arts and humanities research council | stories of transformation and surprise | sue harper | short stories | feminist gothic literature | The Dark Nest |