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Private House

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Private House - Plot & Excerpts

Leaning forward, she felt the hot Havana sun on the back of her neck, and then the tangle of shrubs and vines in the overgrown garden pressed damp, heavy air up at her face. And it wasn’t ten, she thought. The tattered leaf of a banana plant sagged across her vision; she pushed it aside. Now she could see that the stone facade of the house was carved with foliage as intricate as the growth she was looking through, a rococo bouquet whose stems curved gracefully down to the doorway. The door, within a cavity of shadow, seemed to be open. On the left side of the frame, two wires wrapped in black tape stuck crookedly through a hole in the stone, and below this a pale spot showed where a house number might once have been fixed, but there was nothing now. She let go of the leaf and settled back on her heels. Was it the right house or wasn’t it?
A cock crowed lustily, a perfect cock-a-doodle-doo. A hen, somewhere behind the wall, clucked a reply.
Settling her floppy straw hat on her head, Lorraine walked slowly along the wall till she reached the entranceway, formed by two pillars leaning at crazy angles.

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