III. Short Story: My Hands

My hands, they don’t say much. And yet; each morning they greet me arms stretched out reaching for the pale white ceiling but they cannot. I watch my hands they wave hello but all I see are empty palms no one to hold nothing to touch so I observe them instead; I get accustomed to the reality of being awake as I lay in silence there with arms stretched out reaching, for the pale white ceiling but they cannot. Not quite feminine enough always wished for bonier more elegant fingers with longer almond shaped nails and a generous layer of nail varnish – I want my mothers’ hands. Turning them over like the pages of a boring book perhaps if I eyeball them enough they will somehow change? And so I carry on, my mind wandering aimlessly into the same old thought patterns.


I sit up, staring at the greyish-brown mould. It found a home around the window sills; seeping into my life through the insecurities I leave exposed to the outside world. I remember a place like this, a small room at the back of the flat parents arguing again and the terrifying sight of a dead crow with blood splattered across the bedroom window. A bad, eerie omen – or so we thought – and then I grew up. No dead bird accounted for my father’s actions and yet I said no. I’ll stay here, with dad. I haven’t seen my mothers’ hands in years. Or it would feel that way. She went she asked me to come but I said no a child’s fear more convincing than a mother’s love. I stayed behind though now I know that sometimes giving a person a choice is an act of terrible cruelty I read it on-line so it must be true.

The mould gives off a damp smell. Time for breakfast; I lean over the window with a glass of water and a banana as I take in my surroundings. Work is a mundane comfort in a world where nothing turned out right; brushing my teeth I don’t look up not confident enough to face myself I get dressed and get the hell out. Walking down the road I look for someone I can face a stranger ideally but there is nobody and so an urge came over me to look down. I’m barefoot. What on earth I stood paralysed by the foolishness it was after all winter could I be so lost? Hours, days passed me by I turned around and ran back home and yet the faster I ran the further away home was. A veiled world with no one to share the madness with I look at my hands to find comfort but they are not mine. They’re my mothers’. Her gentle hands covered my frightened face and as I cried I realised something but it was too late.

It was a dream. I dreamt it all. The mould is gone. I stretch my arms out and I see my hands and they are mine and they are my mothers’ also. Where she went I went she didn’t ask I was a child I held on tight she clasped my hand because she knew that sometimes, giving a person a choice is an act of terrible cruelty.