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Page 42

November 5, 2014
  1. Go to your bookshelf and choose a volume, completely at random.
  2. Turn to page 42.
  3. Copy the first complete sentence at the top of that page.
  4. Now use this sentence somewhere in a piece of writing.

“Now Linsey was gone.”

– Tess Evans, The Book of Lost Threads


Sally paced the streets around her block of flats while her girlfriend was inside, packing up. It was too painful to stay and watch half of their life together – five whole years – disappear into cardboard boxes.

Now Linsey was gone. Really, properly gone. Sally could feel the difference as soon as she opened the front door, the dead air of an empty space. She made herself some tea and sat on the couch, clutching the mug for warmth. She tried turning on the TV but its brash, noisy world seemed like an alien planet and she quickly shut if off again. She drew a blanket around her and huddled in the thickening dark. The lamp seemed light years away.

She was startled by mewing. The cat leapt into her lap and began milk-treading, palpating her stomach and purring like a lawnmower.

Originally he’d been Linsey’s, but had switched allegiance to Sally almost instantly upon moving in. Sally had never dreamed Linsey would leave him behind for her, and her eyes prickled with gratitude. She scratched behind his ears and he flung himself across her legs, the white fur of his belly exposed in the ultimate gesture of trust.

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