Sunday, February 10, 2019

'Bitter, Horned' in Litro Online

My story 'Bitter, Horned' can now be read on Litro Online. The picture (credit Sandrine Rouja) shows Creeping Wood Sorrel, the Latin name for which, Oxalis Corniculata, means precisely that: bitter and horned (it's edible but tastes very bitter, and it has funny little seed capsules like horns). This plant, an invasive weed, plays a pivotal part in the story which concerns a newly appointed young gardener with a dodgy past he's trying to overcome and an old lady with a problem with her lawn, but it's also very much a symbol of both of their fears, real and existential, involving issues of homelessness and domestic violence, and indeed their fear of each other. Litro have provided a link so that you can read about the plant, and although I did research it in order to make sure I didn't make any mistakes, I made a point of extracting the information that would best fit the story, and for me it operates chiefly as a symbol serving those themes.