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Super 8

Page 4

“Ah, yes,” His eyes wandered towards the house. “You know, I have not seen them for years. Mary’s family used to have a house in Malvern, and her father kept a record of each celebration. In those days we were friends because our mothers and fathers were friends. Now we’re just friends.”

He paused and half turned back to his group, as though that explanation had resolved everything. If there was anything to be resolved. Judy was left with David, who took charge of her. He brought her another drink, and introduced her to more people. Eventually he excused himself and disappeared into the house. The buffet was served in the shade. After eating, Judy still found herself detached from any particular group, and was in that state when Mary sought her out and asked how she was doing. Had she met people?

“I’ve been matching the people here with those in the films,” she said.

“Come on, I’ll show you how to do it,” said Mary, and they went back into the lounge and its wall full of ten-year-olds. Now they were at the beach, in and out of the water.

“St Kilda.” Said Mary. “It’s a bit weird seeing us all so young. Of course, we seem to get younger every time we show the film. There I am.” Judy watched her running out of the water towards the camera, in her navy blue swimming costume. Her eyes were merry. She spun around in the sunshine.

Then Mary became tense; Judy could feel it in her posture, and the way she pinched the stem of her champagne flute.

“I’m not sure I want to watch this bit,” she said.

But they kept watching. Judy glanced at her. On the screen, ten-year-old David, brown, lean and glistening with sea water in his tight white swimmers, arrived in the background just beyond Mary and launched himself ferociously at Philip, who had been backing away. He managed to land two swinging blows to the head of the other boy, before they fell on to the sand. David was on top. Neither of them was laughing. David was still trying to land more blows on Philip, who was turning his head from side to side, trying to dodge them. Philip was the bigger of the two, but he was getting the worse of it. The Super 8 colour process made the blood round his nose so vivid. Some of it was on David’s white swimmers. Dark brown skin, brilliant white swimmers, scarlet blood.

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