the hideout

for the first five years she tries to build herself a hideout, tries to hollow out space in a tree for a shed to hide; tries to slip into the depths of the forest and blend into the scenery. none of it ever works, she never feels quite right in the hidey-spaces she's stealing from …

crescendo

she's watchful of the night sky, waiting for it to arrive before she slips out under a cloak of her own making. outside, the city hums, content with the work from the rest of the day, and people are few and far between. tonight she's tempted to take a glass to the roof, fill it …

wonderland

Flash Fiction July, 30 There's a forest tucked away on the outskirts of the city. She doesn't go there often; only in winter, when it frosts over and she has to wear thick-soled hiking boots lined with extra socks and haphazardly-stitched in knitted linings. She pretends it's for the sheer beauty of the place, but it's …

ties that bind

read the labels,map out a blueprint in red andwrite your ownInstruction.(need a tetherto reality,but don't we all?) weave togethera chain:loops linked to each other.(do you know,you're holdinginfinityin your hands?) braid a rope, shaky-handed:tricky, smooth, glossy:finer attention to detailrequired.ambition,vital. drift through the yearschain-and-symbol(infinity)looped around your neck.(double-infinityon your wrist) pretend to betetheredto the world;anchored toreality. (here is …

street’s memoir

silent observer,are you tired yet?let me help youtell your story. here, you saw the couple:young.in love. arguing andmaking up. there, a girl trailed throughthe rain - let the bussplash waterat her feet. and here you sawthousands of peoplegoing about life. speak, please - sorry, i forgot.you're silent. leave me myguessing game: i shall make up …

unwinding

she unwinds from the daythe moment she walksin the door. shoes are kicked off andlain on the rack;keys, deposited in a bowl by thedoor and bags droppedunder the table. the stiff blazer is droppedover the back of a chairas she walks in sock-feet tothe lounge. swaps suits for worn-outcottonand tugs a blanket off theback of …

wanderlost

she flicks the mapthat takes up one-third ofwall space.on her desk, there's aspinning globe: sometimesshe taps it to set it rotating. unfocuses her eyes and lets the worldblur past. she makes a list,writing alphabetically,reverse-alphabeticallyand flips it around again. scrambles the order, calls uponline travel literature. in the evening shecrams in language, makesflashcards of grammar. she'll go …

the cave

a cave formsin the forest.sometimes, in her modest moodsshe calls it a backyardbut miles offlora isn't a yard. she takes a backpack andlaces up hiking shoes.if she walks too fastthey clip at her anklebone.sometimes, the bruiseslast for days. if the weather permitsshe reaches the cave,half-formed though it is.when she first came hereit didn't existand she …

after midnight

at 2 a.m., there's totalstillness.the curtains are drawn,heavy and thick, blocking outall light. in the quiet of the cottagethere's no stimuli.no traffic, no sirens rushing bysetting the night alight withcoloured noise. outside a cicada chirpsthen falls silent. there's nothing. in the bleak dark of nightthere's nothing to see,no need for pretension.no need to do anything.

the lamb

she draws up herbattle plan,pulls on cloak and hood. she writes,cataloguing a long listof disapprovers. they allhave one thing in common:when pressed, they findsomething to changeabout her. she makes her list,checks it over.no need to add spelling and grammar,syntax,to her list of repairable traits. she inlays a ruleof thirty-three. this, she once readis how long it …