Fiction The Upper New Review

The Feeder And The Fed

by Eamon McGrath

“A little bit higher,” she called down from the balcony to her husband.

The garden was still wet from the storm the previous night. Caroline hadn’t slept well, waking up to the crash of thunder and the rattle of the old double windows in the wind. When she was a child, the sound of thunder excited her, and she couldn’t imagine how anyone could be afraid of it. Even Toby, the chocolate Labrador she had grown up with, hadn’t been afraid, and weren’t all dogs supposed to instinctively fear such loud noises? She had a memory of lying on the floor of her sister’s bedroom with Toby during a summer thunderstorm, gazing up at the rain streaming down onto the room’s small skylight, her hands pressed firmly into the carpet as if to steady herself.

But as she had gotten older, it wasn’t exactly that she had come to be afraid of thunder. Instead, it brought on a feeling of disquiet, of creeping anxiety. She wasn’t sure exactly when this change had begun.