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

Tag: time (Page 2 of 3)

‘The Ache’, by Kitty Frilling

It wouldn’t be fair to say the ache starts
every morning as I wake.
Or truthfully that I wake at all,
more I become conscious… of the pain. 

The fire started small and young.
Fickle flickering up my spine.
Across my shoulders like a seasoned log,
spreading further, faster as I age.

It took hold.
It ravaged me, left me weak and wincing.
Scared to stretch my body,
as if it would elongate my pain. 

The ache doesn’t care how I adjust. 
Turn this hip, rest this hand, lift this leg. 
To chase it out of one limb just moves it, 
across the map of my body. 

It doesn’t listen to the pills.
Signals sent to block it in my brain. 
It weaves its way round them,
conniving and wheedling itself into my synapses.


  • by Kitty Frilling

Author website: www.kittyfrilling.co.uk

United Kingdom

‘The Cost of Falling Ill’, by Linda Cosgriff

Work as hard as you can
for as long as you can

Then you’re ill
can’t work
can’t walk
can’t bear talk
or remember how no pain felt
can count on the hand you can’t lift
your friends
and family

can’t work
or provide
can’t afford pride
or holidays
you manage Christmas, on plastic
can’t walk your children to school
it’s uphill

you’re ill
can’t work
can’t live
can’t provide –
the part that was you
the man that was you
the pride in you

Try not to care 
that the love of your life 
is no longer your wife 
but your carer

Work as hard as you can
for as long as you can

  • by Linda Cosgriff

Author website

United Kingdom

‘In Stillness’, by D. Phoenix

The way the scent of the air changes as the day goes on: the warming sweetness of morning; the sharp resin of fir trees as the sun heats the day; the cool, soft evening air with the ground and lake and all the waving leaves mixed in. The way the early evening light strikes the birches and makes them chiaroscuro dramatic. The way my feet burn. The smudged charcoal underbellies of terns over the green water. Their sliding paths through the air. This deep, stabbing pain in both temples. The buzzing flight of sugar-fuelled hummingbirds. The way my entire body is filled with pain and unable to move from this chair. Heavily, here, just so. That bird, there, hopping from branch to branch. Almost hidden. The feel of my skin as a gentle breeze touches the side of my face. The things I long to do. That dragonfly, there, and the sun behind its wings. Every dancing leaf. The air again: changing.

  • by D. Phoenix


‘LIVE YOUR STORY’, by Katarina Juvancic

Maybe me still being here is as random as someone else dying. Maybe my decisions and actions only worked for me and cannot be replicated by anyone else. I honestly don’t know. My mind is dwarfed by life’s mysterious ways. … All I know for certain is that as much as I would like to live in a cancer-free world and help anyone who is struggling with the disease, all I can really do is to share my story. 

That is all I have to offer. A story. My story. And I would suggest that rather than copying mine or anyone else’s, make sure you’re comfortable with yours. Feel it. Articulate it. Own it. Live it. No matter how shitty you think it is. Because ultimately your story is the only thing that can and WILL help you deal with both – life and the loss of it.



‘The Velocity of Pain’, by Sonya Huber

I lie on the couch, but you cannot see my velocity. I have a tangential vectoring sense that pain is coiled mitochondrial speed, that while I am prone I am riding the rails deep into the future and the past at once, as if pain exposes ruptures in the time/space continuum and pulls me into the openings, as if a body at rest in pain is a body in motion through time rather than space. There is a sense of pressure on my skin as the force of time’s ungluing. There is a sense of coiled mathematical work and a formula connecting time to pain through space as I leave my location on the timeline and descend into time’s scaffolding. I am quantum, visible in two places at once. The electrons vibrate with pain, which is the pressure of the universe, the music of the planets.

United States

‘Mutation’, by Marion Michell

This image is of a small green vase, grass-green and made of thick glass which slightly tapers top to bottom. Four small tulips stand in water, three with fading orange petals, one with purple. All are in the stage just before the petals, which seem to be curling in on themselves, fall off. A few stamen are visible, like tiny black tongues.An afternoon spent, or was it an evening, or three, in a wheel clamp’s tender clasp. My dues for modernist mutation paid out in full: ribs, calves, hands, sections of skull, wrenching, arching, hardening. A homecoming of sorts, a holding; mattress won’t grumble, neither will I – if only we knew if we’re hot or cold, horsehair or hardware, flesh or fish or foil.


‘Twenty Minutes’ (Anon.)

Twenty minutes; one thousand two hundred seconds, nothing really, unless you’re waiting, waiting to be told about something you may not want to hear. I feel different; my body is telling me there is a problem. Seventeen have passed. I’m sitting in a room where time has stood still. I’m surrounded by a sea of unknown faces, all waiting with me. Some are biting their lips; others stare into space like I am. There are only two outcomes, positive, or negative. Polar opposites. “Steven? Come on through.” I follow with my heart in my mouth. “Take a seat.” I do as I’m told. She is smiling at me. But it’s not giving me any comfort. She begins talking, but her words disappear into white noise. My heart has left my mouth and disappeared into the pit of my stomach. I have the answer. Now all I have are questions.



  • anonymous author


‘that unwanted invasion’, by R. Redman

that unwanted invasion
– now tethered over my back
binding my knees
burdening my shoulders 
with the heaviness
which is my own being – 
my own cosmic orb of flames
arcing slowly across
from dawn until dusk
and smoldering on 
through shadowland.
– now anchored still
tugging below my ribs
pulling inside my left eye
centering my own gaze
on then –
on it.


  • by R Redman
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