Writer Cait Atherton
Writing is akin to painting in the reader's mind, the emotional colours of the felt, seen or imagined. I particularly relish the short story form, the freedom to create a miniature world where a singular detail can shape the whole canvas. If successful, a story's colours will linger, washing through the reader's thoughts developing unexpected hues. And, of course, not a brushstroke should be wasted.
Although all stories are fiction, they dip into a paint-box of personal colours:
The silt-brown of a dilapidated klong-side house swallowed by Bangkok floodwater. Will a daughter's memory of her mother resurface before the house is drowned? The sun-faded saffron of a farang (English) monk collecting alms in our Bangkok soi. Is that his wife or his sister following behind, begging him to come home? The deceptively serene turquoise of the ocean, seen whilst panting along a Thai beach during a tsunami alert. Will the man with the briefcase look back to warn his young lover? In another story, the pristine white maw of an MRI machine is ready to swallow a panicking woman. Programmed to reveal brain activity that will show whether she truly loves her prospective husband or not, the truth is about to be revealed.
And way back in another place and time, where memories and stories flow together, a peridot-leafed Manx glen is carpeted with bluebells. A child startles to the cackle of mooinjer veggey from behind the foamy waterfall. She spends a life-time wondering what was said...