Two short stories: a daughter looks back on a Bonfire Night during her childhood; and a redundant man staying with his brother's family must cope with his sister-in-law's impatience.
In 'Till the Cows Come Home', Bonfire Night 1956 is fast approaching, and while mother-of-one Ruby proudly carries her immaculate 'Bonfire Cake' into the middle room, her devilish daughter Garnet is upstairs tormenting her school friend and temporary houseguest, Jane. Abruptly, we leave this story and are transported to 1993 where Garnet, addressing the reader, begins to tell her own tale, and ponders the distorting and lingering effects of nostalgia.
In 'The World's Smallest Unicorn', Teddy arrives on the doorstep of his brother and sister-in-law after being made redundant following twenty years spent in Hong Kong. Despite his warm affection for his nieces and the conciliatory gifts he presents the family with, he can't help noticing his sister-in-law's hostility and impatience with his presence. However, as a tangled history of the family's relationships begins to reveal itself, it becomes clear that the cause of Fan's irritation may not be what it first appears.
Part of the Storycuts series, these two stories were previously published in the collection The Atmospheric Railway.