The Ghosts from Kathmandu


Our Story of the Week is a marriage story from the writer Abi Hynes.

Abi has been writing stories and poetry for as long as she can remember. Books and theatre were a wonderful inheritance from both of her parents. While at university she thoroughly enjoyed exploring theatre and still feels writing plays is her first discipline.

However, she returned to fiction writing in her early 20s, and says ‘it was like rediscovering a first love, and a version of myself that I’d packed away in a box for a while.’ Abi is now a drama and fiction writer based in Manchester. Her fiction has been published in a variety of places, online and in print, including Litro, syntax & salt, Flash Fiction Magazine and other publications, and she was recently shortlisted for the inaugural Bath Novella-in-Flash Award. Her plays have been performed across the UK.

In The Ghosts from Kathmandu, Abi explores the mystery behind this unique couple and their intriguing livelihood.


Leena had to starve herself for three months, but eventually her figure is boyish as his. She exercises in secret, locking her fingers over the beam above the kitchen doorframe and hauling herself up until her arms burn and her stomach muscles shake. As Anuj wastes slowly into bone and mattress, she grows lean and wiry and capable.

In the evenings, when they eat together, she observes her husband closely, and marks the rhythm of his right hand as it balls his rice to bring it to his lips. She practises mimicking his voice: the longer vowels, the softness of his tongue rolling in his mouth. His laugh she has to summon from memory, and she rehearses it in front of the mirror while he sleeps, standing naked except for one of his long shirts, her hair tucked down inside the collar. She drops her breath into her stomach and lets it deepen there. She winks, and the young man in the mirror winks back. She presses her lips to his and breathes her life against the glass. It is hot and youthful and impatient.Read more…