The Transference of Minds

Lyre, 2013
This story is inspired by an image found in the State Library of Queensland during my PhD research.

Watercolour A


s a child, Althea would work herself into fits of terrible rages, ripping the paper from the wall and pulling the insides out of soft toys. She tore the fabric with her teeth. The stuffing would erupt from the gash, and her mother Ethel found it scattered over the floorboards, Althea herself flung amongst it. What disturbed her mother so much was the quietness of these rages. Althea didn’t howl or stamp her feet. Ethel would watch her for a minute and leave, shut the door, walk fast to the other side of the house. She practised disconnecting Althea from her own space; the room she was in could be cut off from the rest of the house, a technique she also practised on her out-of-her-control neighbours when they made sounds in the night time.


Image: ‘Althea Fewings at Toowong Creek’, Brisbane, Australia. State Library of Queensland.

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