The True Story of Butterfish – Sample Chapter
Extract from The True Story of Butterfish by Nick Earls
I was still on my guard back then, when Annaliese Winter came up my driveway in her school uniform with questions to ask about her missing dog. I had stopped work for the day, or for a few hours at least, and I stood in the dark of my loungeroom with a beer I didn’t need, watching her through the screen door. A tall stalk of grass was growing between the wheel ruts and she swiped at it with her right hand. I could just make out its head of seeds bobbing in her wake as she came closer.
She had ribbons in her hair, but not in a prissy way. I was sure there was some name for it, for the style. Madonna or Cyndi Lauper had done it that way in the eighties. She was in her school uniform and it was a day in the middle of the week.
Her shoes, heavy black school shoes, clunked on the wooden steps and then on the boards of the verandah. She lifted her hand to knock and saw me inside, or saw something and pressed her face against the screen, using her hands to shield her eyes from the light.
‘Hello,’ she said. ‘Is there someone there?’
I put the beer down and said, ‘Yeah,’ and didn’t know what to say next. ‘Yeah, hello.’
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