Choked

by Rachel Green

Harold never knew about his big sister. She died in the womb, strangled with Harold’s umbilical cord as he jockeyed for position on the runway to post-partum life. Born three minutes before him she never felt her mother’s love or the cosseting of a warm terry blanket. Ada was never allowed to grieve; the needs of her son outweighed her need to cry for her lost daughter and it was thirty-seven years before she felt able to face the tiny grave with the piece of slate inscribed with the words Alice, 1968. Harold had asked about it once – he’d not been more than six or seven. She’d dismissed his question with a shake of her head and buried his dog next to it with a similar headstone.

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Rachel Green, whose full catalog is here, is an English woman who spends far too much time writing about demons.