Stories in Short #3


I am an injectionist. I work in a small clinic in an industrial estate down a country lane that doesn’t have a footpath. My daughter runs the desk and chit chats with the children I make scream and cry. Except, now my daughter is dead, and the children and I cry together.

I am at work and ready to inject. To pull on the syringe and suck. Suck some thoughts. Any thoughts.

I left the house today without telling my husband. He will think I’ve gone to kill myself.

Stacey, the other receptionist, comes into work with casual clothes. I am sitting at her desk. She says, “What?” and drops the keys she is holding that she has used to unlock the door, and the ones she was going to use to lock up again when she discovered I was inevitably not at work.

Here I am. Ready to inject.

She says, “Sorry,” and all I can think about is that cliched reaction, “What do you have to be sorry for?” and then I think, yes, there’s so much for you to be sorry for, your reaction, your shock that I’m here, you, standing there, eager for a day off, sorry? You should be sorry because you have no pain, no grief, not like mine. You should be sorry because there is nothing you can do that’ll fix this.

Sit down at the desk, Stacey. Sit down and organise my day. Give me purpose. Give me a reason to be here, alive, on this planet, in this office, send me the squealing children. Not all at once.

I want this day to last forever.

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