The Bet

by Maryelle Hayward

At the stroke of midnight she steals through the window like a cat burglar and tiptoes over the gravel - white stilettos under her arm - to quiet the noise. By the time she reaches the convent gate she is hot and giddy, her feet mucky. The young man who is waiting for her in his Morris Minor speeds towards the border, where the Miami Show Band are belting out Beatles tunes. Much later, she races against the red rays of the dawn; slips back inside, washes her feet with cold water in an enamel basin before falling into bed. In the morning she yawns and dozes her way through mass. The large love bite on the right side of her neck is all the proof she needs to collect her winnings.


Maryelle Hayward lives in County Derry in Northern Ireland with her husband, obese cat, and three adult sons (who move in and out at will).