This is from a different place – something like horror, but not – a quietly told story of the girl (she’s about 12 years old, although no one really seems to know), who turns up one day, at his door, wearing little, but covered in words written in blue marker pen.
Family members keep disappearing around her. At least so she says.
Then the narrator’s brother turns up after twenty years…perhaps. And just who is Paul?
“…’gone’ implies a where to be gone to. She wasn’t anywhere. That’s the way I have come to think of it, to phrase it. By the following morning she was nowhere, and I was the last to have seen her, and all hell broke lose.”
It is all set on a new-build housing estate, in Ireland. But most of the houses are empty.
“I pray that I may forget. Or, failing that, that I may at least remember what forgetting feels like.”
The effect is a chill running down your spine, or like when watching a scary movie with the lights off and you think you hear a noise somewhere else in the house, even though no one else is home.
“...it tapers into the long grass. Reason, with all its explanations, takes us this far and no farther.“