"Six Months Since" by Zoe Biggs
“Stop being so bloody awkward.”
His voice raised above the noise of the pub, carrying the unavoidable point across the room. It landed with precision.
He must have sensed a weakness. I was wrong again. My existence of being quiet in a crowded room deemed incorrect.
I attended here only upon my friend’s invitation. Her birthday. An hours journey across town, but I was content until his words. A smirk creased the corner of his lips. The woman beside him extended a hand to his shoulder, and, in unison, they turned away.
They would not remember this.
The words ricocheted sharply, skimming each edge of my memory. It was these that would be screamed back by my mind as I tried to silence it once again at two in the morning. But, I have had no peace, even six months since.
"Hunted" by Lucy Brighton
The hammering and clapping of the dragonfly’s wings grows closer as I scuttle towards the barren tree, my legs weak, my spiracles flapping violently. Before I reach the tree, I see the raindrop looming pregnant above me. I am trapped. My predator lands, its oversized head just a whisper away. I ooze my life source, releasing my foul odour into the air. It pauses. My moment. The air is heavy with unspilled rain. Can I? I spread my tremulous shell; my wings peep out nervously. The dragonfly’s engorged eyes glaze with confusion. I hover for a second and then...I’m free.
"Emotional Disturbance" by Maggie Elliot
I’m wearing pyjamas. Am I ready for bed, or just risen? It’s daylight and the fire’s out. It must be morning.
My daughter told me my son’s coming for a few days. It’s been years. I know parents shouldn’t have favourites, but he’s mine. He looks just like his father.
He’ll be here soon. I must get the fire going and make his favourite scones. I’m looking forward to company and getting out of the house.
When he arrives he gives me a funny look when I ask his friend’s name. I make tea but can’t seem to find the scones.
We dine out. I ate more than I have in days and I had wine.
I am woken by voices. I am afraid. Who’s in my house? I ring the police whispering; ‘There is someone in my house. Come quickly.’ Opening the living room door, I see two people sleeping there. I shout ‘What are you doing in my house? Get out! I’ve called the police’.
The man moves towards me. I grab the poker. Why does he keep saying ‘It’s me?’ I back out and hide in my room.
The police come and a policewoman says a doctor is coming. Doctor? What for? I’m given a jag. He says ‘Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.’
My living room is full of people. They say I am to be moved to a place of safety.
I wake to find myself in strange surroundings. I am afraid. I shout ‘Where am I? Why am I here? I want to go home.’
Someone is approaching with a syringe. I shut my eyes tight hoping they will go away.
Old age stripped me of my looks, my physical abilities, and now I fear, my mind.