Silence Is an Empty Space


(1000 words) Then aged four, Elizabeth would shut herself away, writing words, gradually stringing them into sentences, accompanied by little pictures in green, red and yellow crayon. ‘The cat sat on the mat,’ ‘The bat sat on the cat.’ “Lizzy, why don’t you want to go and play with your friends. Little Josephine next door, she likes you. I’ll take you to the park together.” “It’s OK, mum,” she’d say, now five, going to her room and writing and drawing on her notepad. ‘The black-as-soot vampire bat dive-bombed the funny tabby cat.’ But the kids at school didn’t want a ‘clever clogs’ in their class and she knew her mother and father had to struggle to feed her and her two siblings. Writing, painting and drawing came low on their menu of survival.

I Dream of Diwana: 2000 word version


“Impressive, isn’t it?” I smile. “Oh gosh, have I got to eat everything?” says my wife, Laura. In front of each of us lies a circular metal tray, in the centre of which stands a bowl of steaming rice. The grains are tiny, some coloured red, yellow or green. Surrounding it are small metal pots … Continue reading I Dream of Diwana: 2000 word version

I Dream of Diwana


(850 words) “Impressive isn’t it?” I smile. “Oh gosh, have I got to eat everything?” says my wife, Laura. In front of each of us lies a circular metal tray, in the centre of which stands a bowl of steaming rice. The grains are tiny, some coloured red, yellow or green. Surrounding it are small … Continue reading I Dream of Diwana