Read an Extract from The One Memory of Flora Banks:
I am at the top of a hill, and although I know I have done something terrible I have no idea what it is.
A minute or an hour ago I knew, but it has vanished from my mind, and I didn’t have time to write it down so now it is lost. I know that I need to stay away, but I don’t know what I am hiding from.
I am standing on the ridge of a mountain in an impossibly beautiful icy place. Far below me on one side is a stretch of water, with two rowing boats pulled up on the shore beside it. On the other side there is nothing; mountains stretch as far as I can see. The sky is the deepest blue, the sun dazzling. There is light snow on the ground, but I am hot, because I am wearing a big fur coat. This is a bright, snowy place. It cannot be real. I am in a place inside my head, hiding.
When I look back I see that there is a hut far below me, down near the boats: I have scrambled away from it, up the hill, away from whatever is inside it. I should not be out here on my own because I know that there is something dangerous.
I would take my chances in the wild rather than face the thing that is in the hut.
As there are no trees I must cross the ridge before I can hide. As soon as I am over it I will be in the wild. There will be just me and the mountains and the rocks and the snow.
I stand on the ridge and take two smooth stones from my coat pocket. I don’t know why I am doing this, but I know it is essential. They are black, and together they fit neatly into the palm of my hand. I throw the stones, one after the other, as hard as I can, as far as I can. They disappear among the snow-covered rocks and I am pleased.
Soon I will be out of sight. I will find a place to hide, and I will not move until I remember what it is that I have done. I don’t care how long it takes. I will probably stay here, in this cold place, for the rest of my life.