Three more very short pieces from Carly Holmes' Figurehead. All concern women's liberation, in a way. 'Into the Woods' straddles the boundary between prose and poem, offering a portrait of a young woman's torments by listing the reasons why she goes into the woods. Sometimes she is joyful, sometimes tormented. 'One day she'll go into the woods and never return'...
'Alter' is a tale of transformation, told from the point of view of a man whose wife/partner is increasingly distracted and dishevelled. She spends a lot of time in the garden feeding birds, communing with nature. Later the nameless man becomes aware that this communion is rather more immediate and physical than mere British quirkiness. But by then it is too late, and she is transformed into a being that he has no claims upon.
'Bake Day' is about a woman who bakes versions of her own children and then eats them. The children accept this ritual as a necessity for their mother, as it allows her to free herself from the constraints of domesticity, the ties of blood. The children scent magic in this ritual, a power that may one day make them disappear for good.
More from this running review soon.