Measure

Hello!  I have been working away at something long and demanding and so have had nothing to share on here for a while.  But today marks the start of a one month holiday from the novel, in which I shall be writing flashes and short stories.  I shall share some here.  Today’s flash is one of a few pieces I’ve been tinkering with – on the theme of freedom to live.  It was written after an inspiring workshop with fabulous writers John McCullough and Maria Jastrzebska, in advance of Brighton Pride.  All sorts will be happening in the literature tent in Preston Park on Saturday August 2nd.  I am reading at 5pm – the story which won me runner-up in the Brighton Prize – called Not Coming In Again.  It will be published later this year in the new Rattletales Anthology.  Do come and have a listen if you’re there.

Anyway, enough of that.  Here’s a new flash.  It’s for everyone who has loved a child as they grow – and for my children.

Measure

One day I loosened the buckle of her shoes.  She’s grown, I thought.  But it was more, more than that.  Inside my little girl’s navy blue shoes were velvet paws – golden, dotted with black – like smudges of marker pen.  And she ran.  My girl ran on cheetah paws across the park.  And I thought I had the measure of her.

Until one day when I slipped the straps of her swimming costume over her bony shoulders and out from her spine sprung the dorsal fin of a dolphin.  And I watched her, silver, leaping in the sea all that day.  She cut through the water.  And I thought I had the measure of her.

Until tonight when I went to her bedroom and found the window gaping.  And there were marks on the sill where her talons had gripped.  Where she’d held fast for a moment before she leapt. And when I looked into the night I realised I had no idea.  Barn owl, buzzard, red kite, mighty sea eagle patrolling the coast?  I do not have the measure of my girl.  All I know for sure is that tonight she flies.

© Allie Rogers 2014

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