Last time, Vi was round, spongy, softness, sucking up pain, absorbing sad. She offered open arms, heart, mind—accepted their hurt, gave hope. Vi was buttery sun, shining warmth. They pushed as hard as they could, trying to topple her, and sometimes she’d wobble, but somehow, somehow, she remained upright.
This time, Vi is frayed; stress and grimace. She is fragments, shards, cracknel. Brittleness and the darkest grey. She grinds her arms apart for them. If they notice how she winces against the cacti of their embrace they do not show it.
Sara Crowley was the winner of the Waterstones Bookseller Bursary, and her novel in progress, Salted, was runner up in Faber’s Not Yet Published competition. Her fictions have been published at a variety of lovely places including The Irish Times, 3:AM, and PANK. She blogs at A Salted http://asalted.blogspot.co.uk.