Sky Light Rain – Fascinate

9_Fascinate by Judy Darley

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share a few insights into the stories that make up my collection Sky Light Rain. I’ll explore them in the order in which they appear in the book. My ninth story in the collection is ‘Fascinate’.

‘Fascinate’ aired on Adam Crowther‘s BBC Upload radio show on Thursday 7th December at around eleven past seven. Adam describes it as being about “an unusual use for animals.”

It’s definitely is one of the shorter, stranger tales in the collection, despite being fully rooted in realism.

For me, fiction writing stems from just about everything my consciousness bumps against. Often these ideas combine and coalesce in barely recognisable forms. In this case, a childhood memory of seeing a hanging basket full of ducklings merged with a magazine feature I’d written about craftidermy.

I used these initial seeds to explore ideas of boundaries. Where do you draw the line? While many people are now vegetarian or vegan, countless others eat meat daily, but even those who do might baulk at eating animals that form part of the normal diet in other countries. If you’ll eat cow, why not horse? If you’ll eat chicken, why not cat…?

The story also explores ideas of different kinds of dominance, and how little we can know about the thoughts bubbling in another person’s head…

The story was originally published in the National Flash Fiction Day UK 2017 anthology Sleep Is A Beautiful Colour, and was later nominated for the Best Small Fictions award 2018.

The tale begins:

I still remember the April when we were small and found a nest of ducklings in a hanging basket. We climbed up on the kitchen roof and scooched close to stare at them.

“Ducklings are magic, Helen,” you told me. “They’re so fluffy they can survive a fall from any height.”

You reached out and scooped one into your palm before I could stop you. It sat there, the breeze weaving through its downy feathers. Then, grinning, you launched it with force into the air.

It splatted against the flagstones below with a squelch that rang through my head. You blinked at me, and giggled.

“Oops. Don’t tell, or I’ll blame it on you.” You slithered off the roof, kicking the tiny corpse beneath the rhododendron leaves where no one would see.

Sky Light Rain is published by Valley Press and is available to purchase here.

Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Untrue Blue‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Weaving Wings‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Woman and Birds.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Shaped from Clay‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Knotted Rope‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Two Pools of Water‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Apollo’s Offspring‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘The Puppeteer’.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘A Blackbird’s Heart‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Paper Flowers‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Strawberry Thief‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘The Moth Room‘.