'Flash' writing anthology about chronic pain - submissions welcome!

Tag: sexuality

‘Premature Ovarian Failure’, by S. L. Shuter

It’s 2am and my body is on fire. Every cell is boiling. Sweat creeps from my pores. It only takes a moment to soak through my favourite t-shirt, then through the sheets and mattress covered in yellow imprints.

I can’t get any fucking sleep. This happens to me every night, up to ten times. Then 40 times a day, no matter the season.

I’m a comedian, but it’s near impossible to make people laugh when my body is transforming against my will. When I’m furious about an illness 50% of the population will never experience while the other 50% will understand it 20+ years after me. Isolated because no doctor out of my team of 7 can determine exactly why it is I went into menopause at 28. Depressed because they know little about a condition that under 1% of the female population develops.

This is my life now.


  • by S. L. Shuter


twitter:  @Set_LS 


‘Superheroes in PJs’, by Grae Salisbury

This is shocking.


              I am not an object and I am not broken but

                                          the pain tells me differently.


This is chronic.

              Why am I not adjusted yet?


It comes and goes, it’s all my consciousness


                                          all I want is to lie down.


And when I come into work I lie about my days off.


Why do I look tired? Maybe,

              that’s just how I look. Maybe,

              they think I am just not very ‘together’…


This invisible pain cannot be talked about because that will only make work relations worse-

because they never know how to interact with me after, but

                            my anxiety aches like the bits between my legs.


I am not used to this.


I am managing well and privately proud, but sometimes


              I wish they all knew.


I guess all superheroes probably feel like this sometimes.


              I bet there’s a lot of us.



  • by Grae Salisbury

Instagram:  @jellybeancomix

‘She is struggling with the concept’, by Lucy Goodwill

She is struggling with the concept of her body as a sensual object. She lifts the covers, brings her feet to meet the floor and winces as she stands. Legs laced with his now buckle as she walks, and shockwaves sparked by his touch are replaced by short-circuiting pain in her nerves.

Soft lips, coarse hair, hot skin, cool sweat, forget the pain, leave that til morning.

She makes it to the door; tries not to wake him so he won’t see her transformation. From time to time she indulges in the mythology of her beauty; an existence where physicality means something other than her suffering.

She pours the coffee that will focus her, swallows tablets that will soothe, takes a shower and embraces the heat that reaches deep into her bones. She follows the steps that will make her feel human and, symptom by symptom, she rebuilds the myth.


  • by Lucy Goodwill

@lucygoodwill at twitter