CREATIVE Rachel TreziseNWR Issue 100
Rachel Trezise's response to Dai Country
by Alun Richards
Today I feel as though I've known Alun Richards my entire life, though I never met him. I was a published writer before I’d read him. And then, all at once, I seemed to know his work completely, because his Wales, like mine, was outward looking, rich with the influence of immigrants, non-Welsh speaking. He rejected ‘a romanticised Welsh past of myth’. He was concerned with rugby, beauty queens, industrial and spiri- tual decline. For an idea about the man himself, I went to his autobiography, Days of Absence, an extract of which is included in Dai Country
, a selection of Richards’ writing published under the Library of Wales umbrella in 2009, its cover graced with a photograph of a young Tom Jones smoking a cigarette, long and thick as a wooden dowel...
Teardrops of dew clung to the fiddlehead ferns, the forest floor was moist and earthy-smelling. Katie chose a clearing close to the entrance to do it; it wasn’t light yet and she didn’t trust him. Through the trees she could still see the outline of the pub at the edge of the estate; she could still call for help. The bottle top blew a raspberry as Chris squeezed the first glob of ketchup into his trembling hand, its vinegary tang biting. She giggled as she perched on the edge of a rock, shivering in her white T-shirt. He stooped to set the bottle against a clump of grass.
‘Here,’ he said gesturing with his open hand at the area where the sauce was to be smeared. She leaned back, propping her fists in the cold dirt. He started low, lightly massaging the scarlet gloop into the cotton, her ribs hard and knobbly under his palms. She flinched when his fingertips began to jab at the small fatty globes of her breasts. ‘I have to do it,’ he said, pausing briefly. He didn’t think she’d be so timid. At school she’d been ruthless, game for anything; provoking the literacy teacher until he frothed at the mouth. With a sigh she brushed her hair over shoulders, grudgingly offering her chest. He slapped a wad of the relish over her heart. She almost slipped off the rock, losing her balance as he kneaded at her roughly.
‘Fuck off,’ she bawled, slapping at him. ‘You’re enjoying it too much.’ She was conscious about that part of her body. And it was freezing; her nipples erect. She grabbed the bottle from him, squirting a thick stream of the liquid across the T-shirt, rubbing it unceremoniously into her chest...
Want to read the full article? Go to our online shop where you can buy an individual issue or take out a subscription to NWR, saving £3.98 on the cover price. Prices start at £16.99 for three issues via Direct Debit, including p+p (UK only).
previous creative: My Mary Jane
next creative: A Perfect Queen