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Mark Blayney


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Twelve-ish. Shade in the Murillo gardens, as satisfying as lemonade. In the heat, just for a moment, Miguel stood in front of me. The old Miguel, not the one we've got now. The fuzzy image held its hand out and led me to the old Arab wall.
When we were first married, we tried to climb it in the middle of the night. A celebration. 'This wall's been here hundreds of years,' Miguel said. 'If we can conquer that, we can conquer anything.' I believed him.
I open my eyes and he's gone.
In these slippery stories the truth and the possible weave as unexpected lives, complicated minds and exotic spaces are sketched in with nimble words and quick wit. Ghosts torment from the past; future selves write back; the lost look about, find themselves watched, are lead astray.
Keep company with thieves and murdering artists, with the couple who miss the ferry for their make-or-break holiday; the mayonnaise deliveryman who becomes a reluctant golddigger, and the psychoanalyst and his GP wife investigate a local widow's naked appearances in church.
Between these pages you can never be sure quite who you'll meet next, but you can be sure that you're in safe hands. An intriguing new collection from a writer you'll want to keep an eye on.