After graduating with a first from Oxford, Mary transferred from literary theory to literary practice. She won the Toasted Fiction radio play competition and had her collaborative piece on pregnancy and paranoia recorded in front of a live studio audience. She was also highly commended in the InkTears Flash Fiction competition for her piece, Haunting. Her writing explores the female experience and she is working on a novel meditating on female greed.
‘Divine’ is a short story which climaxes with Bethel pushing her sister off the edge of the bell tower where they are sunbathing. It will remain inconclusive to us, and to Bethel, whether this was intentional or accidental. Throughout this piece, ideas of duplication and doubling, individuality and archetypes are key. This short story is one of a collection in which our roaming narrative voice sits in on events throughout the city of Manchester as a curious observer.
It’s a beautiful afternoon; let’s rest a while. We can perch on the edge of this bell tower and watch the wash of the city beneath us.
Down to our right is a vast statue of Ghandi, forever striding forwards. The hot July sun bounces off the curve of his head, gleaming bronze. A small girl with tight dark curls springs at his ankles, trying to hold his scalding hand. Her white linen dress blooms around her as she lifts and sinks. Here swoops her mother, taking her hand and gently guiding her down the street. Chairs spill out onto the pavement, with people drinking and eating. Their faces are flushed and excited, with browning cheeks and freckled shoulders. A waiter, with one arm crooked holding a tray, reaches out to ruffle the girl’s head as she passes – she squeals and rushes round to the other side of her mother, burying her face in her skirts.
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