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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Keitha Keyes

House of Cards

Ours is usually a quiet neighbourhood. Today I am out on my patio enjoying a sleepy summer afternoon, dipping in and out of a novel.

Suddenly the silence is shattered by escalating voices from next door. They’re not speaking English but the anger and terror need no translation. Now a thumping noise, like something striking concrete. And screams.

I rush over to the paling fence and peer through it. I see my neighbour wielding a broomstick and his daughter cowering in a corner.

I call the police. Two officers investigate the dispute. Another officer goes to the neighbours on the other side. But they have drawn their drapes and pretend they’re not home.

the needle jumps
on the gramophone record —
wounds that never heal