Blue Note

Arcanum

Jacqueline was the pretty one. Everyone said so. On Saturday mornings, the two girls went shopping for their mother. The fishmonger, the baker and the grocer. Teresa peered through the glass of the Tudor shop fronts—the window displays of buttons made into the shape of a lady at the haberdashery and the glass bowls of vivid plaster fruit at the grocer were her favourites. At each shop, Jacqueline did the talking and Teresa was silent. The shopkeeper would hand the straw basket laden with shining zucchini and peppers, flour-dusted loaves and wrapped sausages to Jacqueline, who passed it to her sister. Teresa listened as Jacqueline’s voice wove like silk strands, capturing rapt attention.

Teresa’s older sister strode ahead, her russet hair swung. She never glanced back, her patent leather shoes clicked on the cobblestones. The handle of the basket cut into Teresa’s arm as she followed. Long shadows fell on…

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