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The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

Publication Date 24.06.21

When Chrissie was eight, she killed a child. Fifteen years later, she has one of her own.

I killed a little boy today. Held my hands around his throat, felt his blood pump hard against my thumbs. He wriggled and kicked and one of his knees caught me in the belly, a sharp lasso of pain. I roared. I squeezed. Sweat made it slippy between our skins but I didn’t let go, pressed and pressed until my nails were white. It was easier than I thought it would be.


Chrissie is eight years old, and she has just killed a two-year-old boy. Her playmates are tearful and their mothers are terrified, keeping them locked up indoors.


Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands. Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.


Fifteen years later, Julia is working in a fish and chip shop and trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, abo