Over the past week before Christmas I have been working more seriously than I have done in my entire life, painting for this art competition. I have already finished a picture painted from memory of the one view I ever saw of the seaside, aged seven and a half. I have started an arrangement of kitchen utensils, which isn't going very well.
I had to enter myself in the competition yesterday. Dad didn't want to do it if it wasn't to be under his own name, as long as a family member entered, so I betook myself to the post office where I had to tell the lady my details.
I had a flash moment. My flash moments consist of doing something on the spur of the moment, which I know well I will regret as soon as I've done it.
So as the lady asked me my name, I thought of a pretty oil painting I had once seen of a farmhouse set in some hills nearby Douitchurch. It had been painted by my sister just a month before her murder. Without thinking, I replied that I was entering the competition under the name 'Vere Destiny O'Derron' and instantly regretted it, as I knew I would.
Then the lady moved on back to sorting the post, and I moved on too with a sinking feeling. I felt dizzy when I exited the post office, the bells on the ceiling striking with a melancholy deepness as the top of the door hit them. I had not said my sister's name in over five years.