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A Stone’s Throw by Fiona Shaw

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ICE

They left the house, father and son, by the back door. The day was bright, but bitter cold. The boy was well-wrapped with a mother’s eye for detail – scarf tucked into his jacket, hat over his ears, mittens. On the man everything was adrift. He carried a fishing bag over his shoulder and he held his son by the elbow as if his life depended on it.

The man walked fast and his boots rang out. The boy ran beside him like a hobbled colt. This was how they went along until they reached the church; then the man let go of his son’s elbow to unlatch the gate. Through the gate and beneath the spreading yew they walked, the man less sure now, his boots quieter.

Inside the church, the man dropped his bag on a pew and put his clothes in order, buttoning ...

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