Amy came in from the garden through the French doors, into the living room, hands full of black earth, eyes alight with wonder. We shouted at her to get out of the way of the TV but she didn’t seem to hear; just stood in her grubby T-shirt and denim shorts looking at her hands.
“Red worms,” she said, “like my blood fingers.”
The garden and Hagdwell Moor behind it always seemed to swarm in and around Amy; she gave herself to it without question, brought it into our Sunday evening session of The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan now in colour but less clearly defined somehow than in Danger Man grey.
I’d seen Amy look at the television sometimes, but her gaze was always focussed somewhere else.
Later, as a professor, I thought about ‘hag’ and ‘dwelling’ and studied Mara, of the nightmares.
Now, Amy took her hands full of black and red out into the summer night and Jim and I resumed swapping superior looks at the baffled noises his parents kept making at all that nonsense on the screen.
I guess that’s how I remember her best, even now, after I’ve lived with her for more than thirty years. These days her illness makes her sweet but vague, a puzzle that I am desperate to solve.
I want her back; the question is, how far back?