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The Moths

She’d craved that kind of darkness for months—heavy, sense depriving and reassuringly suffocating.

Processing negatives in blissful isolation. The horror of those first thirty seconds each morning after waking, not on her horizon. Deep inside her skull, bathwater draining away painfully slowly, negotiating clumps of stubborn, matted hair.

No bluebottle-esque distractions. No repetition. No inhibition. She kicked off her imitation leather shoes like yesterday’s news and gasped at the freedom of different air, from elsewhere, between her toes.

Pulling a chunk of her lank brown locks across under her nose, the lack of hygiene was pungently clear. Lights flickered in the distance, teasingly out of reach. Tanned cotton tights rolled neatly to her ankles. Her whole body needed to breathe . . .

Breathe in the darkness with eyes wide shut. It was time for a change of scene.

The rain started to fall, slowly at first, before drowning her light green blouse. Running down narrow cobbled streets, pink and blue shutter graffiti flashing by till she fell flat out on her back, blowing hard.

The credits rolled up the screen. She wiped the drool from the side of her mouth and put her shoes back on after fumbling for a while. Tights stuffed into her handbag, she tried to compose herself.

Time. Time to go. Time to go home. And be the flame for the moths once again.

Flash Fiction by Jamie Graham
Picture: 8 by Warren Rohner under CC BY-SA 2.0

Published in Winter 2017


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