Crash Course

I’m sitting here, wondering, is there still an us. Will there be, an us? Or, was there never an us to save. Nothing left but pieces. The polaroid pictures strung like bunting in my bedroom, couldn’t you have ripped the rope and dragged it out, like you did with your things? It only took a single touch and I, unravelled. I wasn’t wound tight enough, besides, the knot is always tighter when you’re not the one tying it.

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This Will Put You Off Having Children

For as long as anyone could remember, Shannon Fowler had wanted to be a Mother. Even as a toddler, long before her parents even contemplated having to give her the “birds and bees” talk, little Shannon Fowler could often be glimpsed in her families garden, pushing a gaudy pink pram around the perimeter and cooing to her teddy bear within as though it were her own flesh and blood. Indeed, this phase of playing with dolls as though they were babies was something that Shannon did not grow out of until she turned thirteen and even then, the decision to relinquish this once-endearing display Continue reading “This Will Put You Off Having Children”

What I Never Said

I find it strange that you still live there, in the house your mother told us not to buy because the roof was falling in and the sink crawled with cockroaches. I remember the look on your face as you disobeyed her for the first time, a mix of exhilaration and fear. You put your half of the deposit down the next day and I did the same, even though it left me with $40 to my name. We were childhood sweethearts, and we thought this was us growing up. A week later, you moved your belongings out of your mother’s house and wouldn’t see her again for a year. I sent her a letter every month to let her know you were okay. Sometimes it was a lie. Besides, she never wrote back. She blamed me. Continue reading “What I Never Said”

The Day Before

My brother died on a Saturday. That morning we’d left him and my sister to mind the shop while Mutti took me on her errands. In the summer of 1939 she’d only just started working as a seamstress of sorts. Letting out waistbands, taking in waistbands, changing the neckline of a dress to make it look entirely new – odd jobs that were quick but required an experienced hand to get those neat, parallel stitches. It was all the fault of the church coffee ladies. Mutti had taken over the social club at the start of the year, and the minute those crow-eyed omas got their claws on her embroidered napkins, her fate was sealed. Continue reading “The Day Before”

The Heroine of Anwae

The wind lashed the banners. Moaning, it swept past the soldiers leaving their arms and legs shaking. Most of them looked out across the plain, heads close to their spears, fingers clutching the edges of their shields. Even though the light of the stars and the moon was cut away by the clouds, they knew exactly what lay on the other side of the expanse. Others were leaning over, propping up their helmets with free hands. Puke punctured the air. Continue reading “The Heroine of Anwae”

Losing One’s Mind in 2 Minutes and 50 Seconds

Forget your name. Throw your ID away. You don’t need the passport either. Convince yourself that you come from nowhere. You were born out of indefinite matter. You don’t remember how you got to this planet. You don’t really know what a planet is, after all. And why we say after all. Or what we mean by all. Continue reading “Losing One’s Mind in 2 Minutes and 50 Seconds”