Sky Light Rain – Shaped from Clay

4_Shaped From ClayOver 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 fourth story in the collection is ‘Shaped from Clay’.

This tale was prompted by the scene above, photographed in a local school playground, coupled with an urge to write something that made my skin creep. That strange white horse just looked so out of place. I needed to know what and who, and why. Personally, I also believe that any story populated mainly by children teeters on the brink of savagery.

‘Shaped from Clay’ explores how communities can turn unhealthily insular, and the way coincidences might string together to suggest something uncannier. Add a couple of outsiders and you have an inevitable hint of love story…

The tale begins:

On the last day of term I allowed the children to bring in toys to play with. As her choice, Ebie brought a bag of whitish clay dug from the river that ran through the village. It wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind, but she looked at me with those silver-blue eyes, and I couldn’t think of a reason to say no. I instructed her to use the area by the sink where we washed our story-time milk bottles, and watched from the edge of my concentration as she began to pound out air bubbles. Her hands dug into the clay, pushing into the flesh of it like it was something she was attempting to throttle the life out of, or palm life into.

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 ‘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 ‘Fascinate‘.
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‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Far From the Farm‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Breaking Up With You Burns Like Fire‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Flamingos and Ham‘.
Discover the inspiration behind my story ‘Lamp Black‘.

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