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I hope you’re well and have had some lovely, interesting experiences this week. Here’s the text of the extract I look at in today’s episode:
The Diviners (by Liz)
The hospital wing at Dunguaire used to be the castle barracks, and later a museum. Now it is gloomy and dark and almost, but not quite, deserted. Luke hovers in the doorway, listening for Mam’s breathing, and edges towards the sound.
There are empty beds in the way, but he evades them with practised ease. The shadowy mass that resolves into a bed pan, though – he sees it almost too late, teetering around it so that his right shoe slaps the concrete floor a little harder than he’d like, and he halts. It’s not like Job to leave stuff lying around. Luke holds his breath but the sharp smell has already invaded his nostrils, and he closes his throat in disgust.
A muttering from three beds over, and his heart hammers, but then she’s silent again. He covers the last few metres and crouches by the mattress, facing her. Now is the most dangerous moment: will she be calm when she wakes? Will she be quiet? He’d be more sensible to leave without saying goodbye, but he can’t do it. Not now.
Her hair tumbles over the edge of the mattress; Job and the other nurses have given up tying it back for her, because she always pulls it loose. Her face is obscured by the night, but perhaps that’s best. This parting needs to be quick, and it will be easier if he can’t read her expression.
He takes a breath, slides a hand over her arm. “Mam.”