CREATIVE Angela Graham

NWR Issue 117

The Road

I made a film about it. Much later. I recreated it. Look. Here. See? A static shot. A frame empty of people. We are at the dark end of a narrow, short hallway. The sun hits our two-up, two-down at the front most of the day, and in it reaches but it can’t quite stretch to this passage-end and stairs’ foot, so it’s from darkness that the camera looks out into the bright day.

Summer outside. Summer 1969. Belfast. East Belfast, where ninety-six per cent of the inhabitants are Protestant and my family are not among that number.

Ahead there is a tiny vestibule and the heavy front door is opened back against its wall. You can see the straight path outside: a chequer-work of black and ox-blood tiles, three strides long; a hip-high wall of smooth-faced red brick tight against its left side. It ends at a mustard-yellow wooden gate. The matching terrace of houses opposite stands very close and towers in shadow...

‘The Road’ opens Angela Graham’s short-fiction collection, A City Burning, which she completed in 2017 with the aid of a Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales (supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales). She is writing a novel, backed by a SIAP award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She is an award-winning documentary-maker, a finalist in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition and winner of other short-story prizes. Angela is from Belfast and has lived in Wales for 36 years.

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