Outer Dark – post I

Welcome back to the world of Cormac McCarthy with the italicised [passages and pages of dialogue devoid of speech marks. But also welcome back to a world on the edge where nature can be both familiar and unnatural in a split second.

The setting seems to be in a world where horses pull wagons, people live in shacks and money is tight but available to those prepared to work hard.

A brother and a sister live in a shack and she is pregnant with his child. A tinker comes calling and is brusquely shown the road by the brother who returns to a cold home with a sister going into labour.

He refuses to seek outside help and delivers his own son. While mother and child sleep he takes the baby into the woods and abandons him and then in a storm loses his way and sees the child again before stumbling home. The tinker picks up the child and although the brother tells the sister he has buried the baby after it died she digs at the earth and exposes his lie.

Her mission is to find the tinker and the child who she manages to link together. But with her brother gone, taking all the money with him, the question is not whether she will find her son but if her brother will allow her.

But for now they have both gone their separate ways.

More tomorrow…

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