In ‘To All Their Dues’, Mo has opened her own beauty treatment room, precariously starting out and trying to make ends meet, before finding out there’s a hidden cost she hasn’t bargained for. A wonderful starting point, but the story becomes so much deeper, as Mo runs through in her memory the previous version of herself she is striking out to escape from: working in a call centre giving “mystical advice” in sometimes heart-breaking circumstances, only one step away from answering the sex lines. And the same goes for the next characters we encounter. Everyone in the story is trying to run away from what haunts them, no matter how weirdly violent or utterly straightforward they seem. I loved that.
First published in Sweet Home, Stinging Fly, 2018/Picador, 2019 and available online here