Just a little twist, a sideways step to dodge out of the path of an eyes-forward businessman on a mission. My hip twists with the sideways step, then ankle and finally, knee. It’s a searing pain, stabs straight through the joint like a missile and there’s a battle taking place in there. My face is blank, a natural reaction to sudden, unbearable pain: a state of brief shock, no matter how many times it happens. No one would know, especially not the businessman with his dead eyes and umbrella wielded like a weapon. A friend notices my misstep and grabs my arm to speed up – the knee won’t buckle, never does, so I carry on with clenched teeth and hands and eyes. Good little soldier, that knee. We walk on, the debris of dead bone – dead men – in that ordinary-looking joint waging war silently beneath my skin.

  • by Sophie Powell 

United Kingdom