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Home Brew

A glass jar in the spare room, the wine fermenting, an old white t-shirt rubber-banded in place around the rim, a siphon, an airlock, hidden on the floor under the desk. Two Saudi guards on a quiet road emerging on Mr Andree's blindside, the tall one tinkling his knuckles against the roof of the car, spilling his torchlight onto the backseats, the footwells, and when they point at the boot he clicks it open and follows them round, knowing that when they rustle through the first plastic bag - the innocuous clinking of glass - they will pull out one of the bottles, and then another, and another, holding them by the neck, and they will look at each other, and his life will be over.

Freya, the pores of her skin still packed with the desert heat, stepping off the plane and sleep-walking through customs, picking the first newspaper off the rack in the shop, her father facing her out of the grey ink - the cancer survivor, the 74 year old grandfather: RETIRED BRITON SENTENCED: 350 LASHES - arriving at the family home to a kitchen scattered with reporters drinking tea and leaning against the cupboards, cameras and microphones set up in the living room for the interviews, mum and brother tumbling from these strangers like graspable chips of rock from a cliff-face.

They hold onto each other, talking about her father as though he were already dead.

Story by:

A. Cochrane

26 October 2015