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Being such a good girl, the children had not questioned it when Amy silently took each of their balloons, wrapping them around her forearms. Before the memorial speech had finished, she floated upwards – bound for heaven, or at least the Mainland. Amy soared with a heart turned light as chocolate mousse. Kicking off her sandals, she wiggled her toes just for the feeling of it. Green turned to blue, blue, blue below. Maybe she didn’t need anyone after all?

A family of honking geese flew by, each keeping its place. Then land ahead – and the possibility of a new mummy.


Original published on Paragraph Planet

Sounds easy. Especially for a former teen Goth. She recalled Dad’s anthropological approach to the 90s; bemused but interested. “Why on earth would you wear those big clobbering boots with such a pretty dress Gill?”. The Doc Martens had long-gone but her crammed drawers remained mostly monochrome. Lace, fake leather, sequins, and as forty approached – applique flowers. What would he have made of that? Maybe she would just stay at home.


Shortlisted in Ad Hoc Fiction

She swayed from left to right buttock; not easy to achieve in slow motion and a silk skirt.  Head locked forwards, she kept a sideways eye on the congregation for cues. Time had muddled her memories of the moves: a jumbled sequence of sit, kneel, stand. Her lips moved to Our Father. The drone of synchronised praying distracted her from images of her father turning in his coffin; placing his cold back to her, as she had to him for so long.   A familiar guilt weighed down on her shoulders and settled in her guts. Not belonging, not believing. To mesh with her family’s faith would bring bittersweet relief. But it was too late for that.