I seed it in the circle in fence. A eye. I was running to catch butterflies before, then a loud bang happened from the other side. It sounded like something crashed it. It was scary. Then I went to fence and I seed it, a eye looking at me.

….‘What’s your name?’ it said. 

….I went closer to it. ‘Pixie,’ I said back.

….‘What’s that?’ Eye closed and opened.

….‘My name.’


….Didn’t Eye believe me? I was getting cross now. ‘What’s wrong?’

….‘I never heard that one before.’

….‘Mummy and Daddy choosed it. So, it is one.’ Silly Eye. It knowed nothing.

….‘Okay.’ Eye got smaller. It moved back. I could see now – Eye was a boy.

….Boy was far away now, so I shouted, ‘What’s your name?’

….He went a little closer to the circle in fence. I could see less of boy now, only his head and shoulders. ‘Huh?’

….‘What’s your name?’ I said again. He doesn’t listen good. Mummy gets cross when I don’t listen good. But I am nice, so I don’t get cross at him.  

….‘Secret,’ he said. He kept sniffling his nose.

….I giggled a bit. ‘That’s a funny one.’

….‘You can keep secret?’ he whispered.

….I thought about this. Then, I nodded my head.

….‘Okay. Wait there.’ He runned away from the circle.

….I I pressed my face into fence to see inside the circle better. It was spikey on my cheek a bit. The secret boy was gone. So I waited, because he told me to. When he was gone for forever, I looked around for butterflies. I didn’t know where they flied to now.

….After another forever, I heard noises from the other side of fence. I heard boy call, ‘Pixie!’

….I went next to it. Then the circle went dark and a scrunch-y noise came from it. Boy pushed something inside the circle to me. It felled on the ground and I picked it up. I opened it. He writed on paper. I can write on paper too. I read the word, ‘Ga- Je-’

….‘Ja-rai-ya. Jeriah,’ he said. He putted his finger on his lip. ‘That’s secret, okay? Don’t tell anyone. Shh!’

….‘Okay. Shh!’ I said. Jeriah was so nice to give me secret. ‘I keep it safe.’ I pushed it in my pocket to keep it safe. Then I thought, I should put it away in my room. ‘Bye, Jeriah!’

….I runned to my house, to go to my room to hide it. When I got there, I looked for paper in my pocket. It was not there. Then Mummy came in and asked me what was wrong.

….‘I lost my secret,’ I said. I wanted to cry.



She put me on her mantelpiece,

a place I could watch the world –

Her world.   

I’ve watched her through her happy days,

and sleep through thunder and hail.

She sang sometimes

and even cried.

Sometimes she shouted, but

That was alright.


She put me on her mantelpiece,

all those years ago.


Her loving eyes poured into me,

moments where I’d hold my breath,

and trace the new lines on her face

and new pendant around her neck.


She left one day,

a sunny day,

and she didn’t come back home.

Her parents packed,

boxed up the flat,

until her room became a place

I couldn’t call home.


Still, she put me on the mantelpiece,

a place I could watch the world.

She left me on the mantelpiece,

All those years ago.




Fading Lights (4/4)

The fog brought on a different kind of cold, one that bathed the skin with a film of air that made the body feel hopelessly exposed against it. My body plummeted straight down to Earth. The world hit me in a series of flashing lights and whirring sirens. Blue, white, red. Noise. They held me in place – steadied me. There was a tapping. Tap, tap, tapping at my side, like a leaky faucet over a sink. The fog was turning me to ice – all except for my side, which was alive. It was on fire.

….The sirens began to slip away from me. And the lights were losing their steady grip, melting into one indistinct hue. They looked like fireworks… the fireworks I saw with Tom one night.

….I met him under the bridge, at the canal. We walked, shivering in the gloom, passing the white-columned buildings that overlooked the water, high up on the opposite side. Tom made up elaborate stories about the people who lived in them. We laughed at the way he became a character, creeping into his own tales.

….We passed under the second bridge, and then took the narrow path up to the road. In all our excitement, we ran to Primrose Hill. Tom was lightening on his feet. He rocketed up the steep slope of the hill.

….‘Hurry up!’ he called. My body was heavy and cramping. I pulled at clumps of grass, crawling up, dizzy from breathing too hard. I collapsed. Why didn’t I take the path up? ‘Over here.’ Tom’s voice came from over a buzzing.

….I got up. A shoe sat a metre away, in the darkness.

….Many shoes and trainers were up on the hill. People buzzed and chattered. I found Tom standing on a bench.

….A countdown began. The London sky exploded into colour. The crowd cheered, bursting into a chorus of ‘Happy new year!’ Tom’s face lit up.

….The voices and cheers began to fade away. They slipped away, like the sirens and the lights. They faded, Tom faded, the night faded.





….Strobe lights danced on his skin. Dancing: he was effortless and drunk. Beautiful under the lights.

….The counter I stood at slide under my elbow, and I nearly knocked a drink over. His drink. Our drinks. Yes. I picked them up, and turned to rejoin him on the dance floor.

….The lights zigzagged across everyone and everything. They cut through my torso and paralyzed me. But, Tom continued to dance, bumping into other bodies to the music. They moved like a stormy ocean of tangled clothes and limbs. I was swept up into the movements of this ocean, and it brought me closer to him. Still, my body would not move.

….One of the bodies circled closer to Tom. It hovered beside him for a moment, before initiating contact. They touched. Their lips met. He was swept up into the ocean of dancing, faceless bodies, and the distance between us was filled up by the turbulent storm.

….Then, the sirens came back. They crashed and wailed against me. A fresh shiver rippled through my body, reawakening the tapping and throbbing at my side. I could feel myself being dragged under, and sucked into the darkness, to the place where the indistinct mess of colours existed.

….But, he called out for me. Tom had come for me. I tried to call for him, find his name on my tongue. But all I could hear was his broken voice over the sirens.





Shift (3/4)

Coffee and conversations. Laughs and tears. I access human interaction, while wiping down drink stains, crumbs, and fingerprints. I also have access to many cups of cold beverages. I dispose of them in bins, standing around the perimeter of the shop, which everyone can access themselves.

….‘Maybe we are technology. We’re machinery of a different kind, made of organic matter rather than plastic and motherboards.’  The students pack their books into their bags, and get up to leave. Thankfully, they put their cups into the bin. I wipe the spot they sat in, next to the window.

….A man, one of the regulars, possibly a writer, sits further along the window table, reading through his scribbles in a brown book. Our eyes meet momentarily, then he continues to read the hieroglyphics. I could be the next major character in his work. Several customers sit alone, reading novels or typing into their tablets, sipping away at their coffee.

….I go over to the area where the clean napkins and packs of sugar are stacked. Crystalline granules create a constellation on the wooden surface, before my cloth swoops down to destroy it.    

….Two women sit close by, a younger one and an older one.

….‘This is serious. How do you think it’ll go?’ says the older woman.

….‘Well, it’s in an hour. I just hope it all works out.’ The younger woman clasps her fingers around her cup, like a clamshell.

….I get some more napkins out of the cupboard below, and refill the holder.

….‘I’m sure it will. You’ve dressed well for it. Everything starts with appearances.’

….‘What if it’s a no? No one can help if it’s a no. It’ll be over. Not even my good shoes will save me, despite what people say.’ The younger woman closes her eyes and begins to take some deep breaths for a few seconds.

….The older woman looks around, probably checking if anyone is listening. She sees me. ‘Could I get one of those, please?’ she asks. I smile, handing her a napkin. She turns back to the other woman. ‘Dear, you’re being a little dramatic now.’

….The younger woman becomes quiet, probably on the verge of tears. Talk about coffee shop drama. She picks up her handbag, and gets up. ‘I think it’s time I made my way there,’ she says.

….The older woman sits there, drinking the rest of her coffee. The other woman left her cup on the table.

 ….Someone taps me on the shoulder. I turn around. It’s Thomas. He flashes a grin at me. ‘Are you going to stand there all day, gaping at stupid packets of sugar?’

….‘Hello to you, too. I wasn’t gaping.’

….‘Honey, you should just work here full-time and you can stare at all the sugar you want,’ he teases.

….I take my apron off, and get my jacket from the back. I say bye to everyone still working their shifts. I make my way to the door, grabbing the cup left behind by the woman and throw it away.

….As I walk away from the shop, I see the younger woman waiting at the bus stop, on the other side of the road. I continue walking, another stranger on the street.