THUMBLING - marcus speh

They fucked every night like weasels. Making love seemed to be the only way to fend off the sure knowledge that they’d both wrinkle and die one day. Before daily sex they’d tried: community work; mad shopping; robbing a bank; overeating and puking; complaining; bullying other couples. Only when Kate got pregnant though an army of doctors had assured her that she was barren, did they slacken and returned to a less heated cycle of lovemaking. Ms Dobbs, who lived next door, was glad for it and resentful, too: she slept better now but her dreams got as dull as they had been for the sixty years before the young couple moved in. But things change when they change. As Ms Dobbs sat down to finish an embroidery of a baroque scene showing a shepherd leaning on his strong staff looking at a lolling Virgin Mary, she suddenly noticed a small door in the wall. It wasn’t taller than a thumb and in it stood a perfectly formed, handsome young man who beckoned her with his little finger in the most delightful way so that the old lady willingly put her handiwork aside.

Marcus Speh
New Grub Street
George Gissing