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Out of the Rain

One night it rained. A night in March, and the rain fell, as winter’s grip relaxed. Out in the dark, dulled by the sound and the substance of the rain, a car door slammed, a vehicle drove off. Inside, in the warm living room of a cottage on the edge of a town somewhere to the North of Dundee, a grandfather clock with ponderous chimes struck ten. Across the room, in a pool of light under an old-fashioned standard lamp, Philip Learmonth sat in his leather armchair. He was reading The History of Reading by Alberto Manguel. You may think it odd that he waited until his retirement as a librarian to read about the history of reading, but he had until then been satisfied with the history of alphabets and of languages, which he had studied as a student. He had assumed the importance, the essence, was in the signs and the sounds, overlooking what now seemed obvious, that the fundamental fact about reading is the creation of meaning. It is not the words, but what we make of them.

The clock’s chimes were a comfort to him, a reminder of the regularity of things, and as the last one died away he was about to turn again to his book, when he was shaken out of his comfortable state of being by the ringing of his doorbell. He frowned at the irritating and incessant buzzing – the button by his front door has a tendency to stick. He put the book down by his evening glass of whisky – it was a 12-year-old Oban that evening – and eased himself out of the chair. Reaching the hallway, he switched on the light which would illuminate the front steps, checked the security chain was in place, then opened the door a fraction.

The damp air and the smell of wet earth came in with her, filled the little hallway as she stood on the rug dripping

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine August 2018 issue is a colourful 124 page glossy magazine, choc full of the best crack from Scotland. Voted July 2018 as the best of the best World Cup of Magazines by Pocketmags readers. #MonTheIScot