‘The Bridge’ in Causeway/Cabhsair

My story ‘The Bridge’ appears in Volume 7.1 of Causeway/Cabhsair. The journal is a University of Aberdeen publication, featuring new writing ‘in all the languages of Ireland and Scotland’. Past contributors include Paul Muldoon, James Kelman, Liz Lochhead and Kathleen Jamie.

Just beyond his garden the world fell away. Tiny fence posts, a few outhouses and ruined dykes, humps of land rolling into the sea like a dragon bathing. It was there that Angus saw the roof of her cottage, slates shining like the dragon’s scales. The last house in the village. The house of the Green Washerwoman.

‘Supper’s ready, Angie.’

His father waved from the porch, a look on his face that meant no dilly-dallying. Angus made his way back through the marsh thistle and docks. He had never expected to find a washerwoman here by the sea. Usually they lived far out on the moors, washing their clothes in this or that burn, shawls drawn over their heads as they howled their sad songs. It was his mam who’d told him about the washerwomen. That was when they lived in the old house out by Skelpick. He had loved that house. He imagined his mother there still, on the scrap of grass before the moor began, pegging sheets to the line, white cotton billowing in the wind. And he wanted to ask her – did the washerwomen ever live in houses, in little cottages by the sea?