Chapter 44: Fallen

Featuring work by: Lynn Love

Fallen | Lynn Love


It was what the hunched old women whispered as Netty Halbrook passed by, her clogs sparking the cobbles, scarf wrapped tight as swaddling clothes. I thought she was beautiful, tall and slender as a willow sapling, hair the colour of beech leaves.

The word ‘fallen’ carried little meaning for me. I was only a child then, my loves were playing hoop and watching Gramma’s cabbages vanish under a wriggle of caterpillars. But somehow, I knew if I asked what it meant I’d get a beating and bed without a crust and jam.

Netty Halbrook is long gone. They say she climbed aboard the coach to Portsmouth, married a sailor who beat her black and gave her nothing but stillborn babies. I think of those little ones sometimes, bound tight in their swaddling clothes as they lie in the salted mud.

These last months, as my corset tightens, as I grow plump as those caterpillars and Gramma’s eyes drift to my belly time and again, I dream of that beech leaf hair and finally understand all that ‘fallen’ means, all it gives and all it takes.

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Lynn Love is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Historical Fiction. Her short stories have won competitions and been published online, in anthologies and magazines. She is currently writing an Urban Fantasy novel and her ultimate aim is to write full-time.

She blogs at: Word Shamble:

And Twitters at:

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