A speck, smaller than a tick. Small enough to get caught under your fingernail, or unnoticed between your teeth. We brewed poppy seed tea once, just to see what would happen. ‘There are 251 micrograms of morphine in one poppy seed,’ you said, stirring. I asked, ‘What the hell’s a microgram?’ and you gave me a look that said, oh come on. Can’t you figure that out for yourself?”
From blueberry fig lemon etc., published in Extra Teeth Issue 3 (May 2021). Available here.
“It started with mince. Spongey and pink, marbled with fat, prim in a plastic tray.”
From Of Blood and Blooming Flowers, published in What She’s Having (Dear Damsels, 2021). Available here.
“He savours each mouthful, alternating between the sour ale and the sweet crunch of cashews. When the glass is nearly finished, the sides marbled with dried froth, the girl seems to finish her book.”
From He Just Finds It Comforting, published by Cunning Folk (2020).
“Days and days of endless roads, of maps and paper soda cups, of gas stations and Twizzlers and weak coffee in small diners. A different day, a different waitress, a different name tag on a different coloured pastel uniform, but the same small pad, the same clicky pens, the same pickle garnishes and grilled cheese sandwiches.”
From How to Eat a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, first published on the 3 of Cups patreon (2020).
“The fruit shed is cold and silent. The other fruit slicers work quickly in little Christmas hats, topping strawberries and skinning pineapples and slicing bananas into coins, to be threaded onto kebab sticks and dipped into liquid chocolate. The space is tight and sticky with juice, juice that runs down our arms and soaks into our clothes and hair. One girl, a corn-fed student with a southern accent, suggests we sing fruit-themed songs to pass the time, but the only one we can think of is Agadoo and no one wants to sing it.”
From The Way You Smelled of Pineapples, first published in Dear Damsels (2019).
Also published in the Dear Damsels Annual (2020), available here.
“Finally, I suppose more prominently, my alligator came back. It felt like a flashback or a dream or a flashback of a dream but I’m pretty sure I was awake the whole time. I was making a cup of peppermint tea and, quite out of nowhere, I felt that it was behind me, stretched out across the sink and draining board with its avocado-skinned tail grazing the lino floor.”
From The Alligator, first published in On Anxiety (3 of Cups Press, 2018).
“I won’t be caught out like this again, I vow. I will buy a crushed velvet minidress and matching black lipstick, and I will only drink drinks that are red like blood. Snakebite and black and watermelon Breezers and vodka cranberry.”
From and i will only drink drinks that are red like blood, published in Smoke: A London Peculiar (2012).
“She sat with us during our dessert and told us that she got the restaurant when she divorced her husband – a fact she seemed to find hilarious.”
From HappyVegetarian.com, published in London Calling (Pank, 2012).