The canal

“Why don’t you put on a pretty dress? I’ll plait your hair and put some ribbons in it for you.” Mum was always trying to dress me as a girl. She wanted me to be a pretty princess, like some kind of toy doll. But I wasn’t having any of that. “No!” I shouted. “I hate stupid dresses! I don’t want to be all girly. I’m a tomboy! And tomboys don’t wear dresses!”

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Gone

About this story: Many of my short stories explore themes including mental illness, loss, trauma, abuse, death – sudden death, uncertain death, slow death, suicide – and the nature of our relationship with these events when they occur in our lives. This story is one of them.

It was 10am before Peggy got out of the house. Late today. Ha! That was nothing unusual. Her mother had always said she’d be late for her own funeral.

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Night night

About this story: Many of my short stories explore themes including mental illness, loss, trauma, abuse, death – sudden death, uncertain death, slow death, suicide – and the nature of our relationship with these events when they occur in our lives. This story is one of them.

It’s 3am and I’m awake. Stiff with tension, breathing heavily, hands shaking, I’m thinking about it again, running through it over and over in my mind. It’s a nightly occurrence, this need to torture myself with the guilt, the what ifs, the if onlys. Still. It’s nothing less than I deserve.

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Lost

_ was

For a while, I wondered who I was. I didn’t know. It didn’t seem to matter. There was a strange sense of peace, of satisfaction in not being.

I wandered. Drifted through the streets. Down a dark alley, I leaned against a wall and tried to taste the fog. Nameless, faceless people moved past, the fog flowing silently around them, through them, within them.

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Hypocrite

The world is full of hypocrites. You. Me. Every single one of us is a hypocrite.

Is it better or worse to be a self-aware hypocrite? New Agers will tell you better – they think self-awareness is the first step to enlightenment. I think worse because when you are aware of your own hypocrisy, you are painfully conscious of everything you do and say, and the multitude of ways they may be interpreted as hypocritical.

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