Settling Into The Rest Home for Ragged Girls

Historic image of a jetty in a storm.The island’s breakers rattle windows. Filthy storm clouds snigger, ‘“the jetty is as brittle as your bones.” Ada, who has the room next to mine, calls, “come down for dinner ̶ fish pie and ale.” Matron has redecorated the dining room for the fifth time this week. She’s adamant that reliable unfamiliarity infuses our disorientation with feelings of comfort. Steady stripes are certainly a welcome change from floral wallpaper riptides of monstrous bawdy blooms. 
Once we’ve eaten, Matron leads us dancing around the dining table. We wave cotton napkins, beckoning to the latest salt-worn liner and its suitcaseless women.


Anika Carpenter’s stories have been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the Bridport Prize. You can find links to her stories at

Photo Source Credit: SA Water

One Response to “Settling Into The Rest Home for Ragged Girls”

  1. Yvonne says:

    Oh, this really sets the stage, I feel, for a longer work about these girls. Love the imagery and the last lines are strong and satisfying.

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