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August on Island of Evia: Forest Fires – Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

In the oranged air a widow rubs the furrowed band on her ash-black skin where once she wore her wedding ring. She’d pawned it last winter in the shop beside the fish taverna where Leon had proposed; that entire street now scorched, like the thousands of hectares of fig trees, parched pines and olive groves. And for him to go choke on a fish bone? She tucks his urn into her shawl, crosses herself and apologises for the hundredth time that day – she knows, she knows – it was his mother’s ring. The flames advance on her home like debt collectors.