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A short story in small instalments: PART IX

“Lydia, help me, love,” said Caspertina Passala.

“What is it Granny?”

“I need my pottery things.”

“You’re not going to use the wheel!”

“No, love, I just want to do some mucking. Bring me a table and a kilo of earthenware in small balls—wedge it well first, mind—and a bowl of water.”

So, a little table was set before her on the porch and she picked up the first ball of clay in her twisted hands, and she could almost feel her fingers sigh with the want of it. Caspertina Passala hadn’t made pots for many years, but her hands had never forgotten; and ever since the waking dream, they’d been aching. Hermes regarded the proceedings from his perch, turning his head sideways, the better to see beyond the deep wrinkles surrounding his eyes. Caspertina Passala wet the ball and began to roll small ropes. Coiling was one of the oldest and easiest ways to fashion clay and one that her trembling fingers and weak wrists could manage. Perhaps she would make a drinking beaker or perhaps nothing at all. It didn’t matter, she just wanted the delight of it. The slurry slid between her fingers voluptuously; and by means of her fingers, memories flew up into her full heart.

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