This week, Killings is running excerpts from Issue One of Kill Your Darlings. Today’s excerpt is from Kalinda Ashton’s deeply simmering ‘Finding Out’, a story about uncovering uncomfortable truths.

‘Write it down,’ Kelly used to say. ‘All of it.’ Or, at least, I think she did. After the operation, her face was so strung up with wires; she could have been saying, ‘fight it out’, or even ‘right to drown’. I thought I should pretend to understand what she was saying, so I’d nod and even give a little laugh, just so she’d know I was listening. She could have been saying, ‘I want a toasted cheese sandwich’, or ‘I regret everything’. Only now I’m being fanciful.

‘Fanciful’ is Margaret’s favourite word for me. ‘Don’t get things into your head; if I know you, you’ll never get them out again.’ Funny thing is, everyone says I look so much like her – Margaret wouldn’t be pleased to hear that. They wonder if we are twins. Of course, it was Margaret who got me into this. Kelly was so patient, and Margaret so brutish; so peculiarly literal-minded. I often wonder how they ever fell in love. She must have had some hidden pockets of sentimentality, my sister, because Margaret sold the car after Kelly’s accident, even though there was no sign of it bar a darkish stain on the steering wheel. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, as Mr Humpton from Year Six used to say when he was teaching us the order of operations for sums. We’re ‘starting at the wrong end’.

Read Kalinda Ashton’s ‘Finding Out’ in Issue One of Kill Your Darlings.