For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Titty Anne and the Very, Very Hairy Man”

Margo Lanagan

Excerpt

“Bring me that spun wool.” The old beast nodded at a spindle on the table with a distaff of flax-fluff next to it. Titty brought it. “Tie this around your ankle.” The grandmother offered the thread-end off the spindle. “Let me see how you tie it. Yes, a nice tight knot. Now, off you go. I will hold to the spindle and unwind you, just to outside the door, and then when you’re done I will reel you in again.”

Out the door Titty went, and there she had the great good fortune to find a broken plant-pot, a shard of which she used to saw at the flax-thread, so that soon enough she was free. She tied the thread then around a thistle-stalk there that was bending and bowing in the breeze, so that it would give lifelike movement to the thread and not arouse the suspicions of that creature in the bed. And then she fled into the forest unclothed, as fast as she could.

We read it in Meanjin Vol. 71 No. 4.