The Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club*

“That’s all healing up nicely,” says Jackie the plastic surgery nurse after she’s peeled off the steristrips.  Clipping the plastic stitches with her tweezers, she sticks pink micropore tape over my almost-healed scars. “That’s a relief,” Mum says, looking a bit less miserable for the first time in days. “Oh good,” I say, looking down […]

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Scaredy Cat*

“What are you doing?” I ask Mum from underneath my furry blanket. “Just moving some photographs around,” Mum says. “Why don’t you sit here with me and do the crossword?” I say.  “You’re always saying that you want to see me, and now I’m here you…” “Finished the crossword,” Mum says.  “Anyway, you’re writing the […]

How’s The Pain?

Current Physical Complaints: 1. Upper back pain – probably from sitting at office computer for two solid days: there’s a reason why I don’t go to work too often. 2. Headache – presumably from staring at screen for two days. See above. 3. Aching in thighs – from working legs in training, therefore good pain […]

Not Dead, Only Resting

“How are you today?” My plastic surgeon says, beaming his huge smile. “Yeah, OK I think,” I say. “Oh, I’m sorry – I forgot my device. Mum’s just signing in – there was a queue and…” “Don’t worry, Tanya, I’ve got a spare one,” the nurse says, reaching into the depths of her trolley and […]

In Bruges

Have a Date tonight: first one for a couple of weeks. Am nervous as he looks absolutely gorgeous in his photos. He’s half-Belgian/half-Danish: lots of shaggy brown hair, great cheekbones, wide mouth with naughty grin, hazel eyes. He’s not a Bright Young Thing either: this one is forty. A man of Experience. Works in telecoms […]

Sparkling Cyanide

“How are you, Tanya?” My plastic surgeon says, beaming his big smile as I sit across the desk from him. Mum is sitting next to me. “OK, I think,” I say. This is the first time I’ve seen him this year. He looks jolly, as usual. It always cheers me up to see him. “So, […]

Queen’s Gambit

“You like Magnus Carlsen, nice!” The Tinder message flashes across my screen. It’s from a new Bright Young Thing, age 31, so not even very young. He’s got brown hair and blue eyes. Good cheekbones. “I do,” I reply. “The red dress in your picture is very nice. Do you play chess?” He says. Ah. […]

Return To Flight

“We should be at your parental home,” the panther says, pressing a heavy paw down on my chest. “You’re not in any state to fend for yourself in the wild.” Rubbing my eyes, I sit up in bed and look over at my watch. 4.55pm. Time to get up from my afternoon sleep. “I’m fine,” […]

Runaway Drain

“Come on darling. You know you’re not allowed in there,” Mum says. The fluffy monster has climbed inside the freezer and is curled up on a shelf, gazing out at us. Mum takes some felafel out and waits for the cat to step out. He doesn’t. Eventually he puts one front paw down on the […]

Blackbird

“So, Tanya, how has your mood been?” Dr Stein my psychiatrist says – pen poised over my notes. “Well, actually I think it’s lifted a bit,” I say. “You certainly seem a bit brighter,” he says. He’s wearing a cashmere sweater – the same bright blue as his eyes. “Maybe the tramadol is lifting my […]