Edie looked a long time at blue sky in a pool of water after rain before dipping her finger down for a taste. It got wet. The edge of a cloud was bitter with soil and mouldy brick, telling her that the old backyard was in the sky as well. It was everywhere, even when she walked out and onto the street, and to the road at the of the street, for wherever she was she knew she had to go back to Albion Yard because that was where she lived.

She liked the water best when it settled into a mirror and showed her face. It wasn’t nice to taste the sky, but just to look at the big white cloud creeping back across her frock to cover both knees so that she couldn’t see them. You got seven years bad luck if you broke a mirror, so it was best only to look at it.

She stood up and waved the cloud goodbye, but still saw her mouth and hair saying hello to the sky. It couldn’t talk to her so what was the use. And if it did she’d cheek it back, her mother would say. She would jump in it except that she didn’t want bad luck. If she got any of that her mam would smack her in the chops, and dad would thump her like he did mam when she broke the sugar basin last week.

Southern Birds
Alice fell