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Sussie Anie
Sussie Anie is a British-Ghanaian writer. She writes about ideas of home in the transient and unsettled, and how technology reveals - and distorts - the human condition. She lives and works in London.

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Professor Lock-up straightens behind his security screens as I push my detergent cart into the lobby The drop in temperature shocks me The lobby is like a refrigerator   ‘Good evening’ Professor Lock-up inclines his head ‘How is The Great Dr Clean-up today?’   ‘I am well, thank you’   We ask after each other’s wives and children and, throughout the exchange, his gaze roams beyond me and down over his screens   ‘God is good,’ I say ‘Regrettably, I must hurry tonight’   I cannot waste another minute here with him; I am no longer looking for a security man’s stories, ordinary tales such as:   Professor Li has flown home already The heat was too much for him His ankles swelled red and he shuffled about his lab in ordinary slippers The next week, he did not sign in at all His replacement will come on Tuesday   or:   You have probably heard, but Dr Huang is flying his parents out for this ‘New Year’ celebration they do Imagine   ‘We will talk soon’ I fish my pass from my bag ‘Another time’   Professor Lock-up squints at his screens His screens are divided into grids that show every empty corridor and laboratory in the Loop’s vast campus He straightens, looks back to the glass doors and rubs his thick neck   ‘I don’t know if you have – ’   ‘Oh, I have heard’   Truly, the thrill of Professor Lock-up’s ability to translate the scientists’ abrupt language has faded; more so now that I am learning to understand it for myself To hear one of their stories is to hear them all   I no longer collect tales of decorated professors, of technicians and student researchers returning to Beijing   I have wrung the last juice from rumours of small families and thin wives who wait indoors, afraid of how the sun might greet their skin   These stories are everywhere My children – even little Kofi, whose mouth is always open, who clings to his sisters’ legs to stand – are no longer satisfied by them My little ones have realised the scientists are, under their differences, like us No children want to hear tales about people like their parents   ‘I will clean Conference Suite Three
Maintenance

Prize Entry

May 2020

Sussie Anie


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