Flames | Lindsay Watson



Lindsay Watson

Major Contest 2018 The Hate and Coat Award



We forget that it can be cold when it’s so bright. That blue skies are not a promise of warmth, are not a promise of anything other than ultraviolet rays, scorching potentially deadly mutations into our skin.

Perhaps that’s merely the cold gazes that look upon me.

I’m not welcome, that was to be expected. I’m often not welcome, but amongst these people, I’m generally shunned, ignored, abused, until there was something I could do.

A cruel smile passes over my lips as I pull my coat closer. It’s too cold for this coat, but it gives the air I’m aiming for, aloof, untouchable and a little bit evil. It’s a barrier against the scorn that I know is coming my way.

There were many phone calls.

‘There’s not long, a couple of days at the most.’


‘There’s only a day.’

‘We’re desperate, we’ll do whatever you want.’

‘Please come.’

‘There’s so little time, please…’

I didn’t pick any of them up. I never picked them up. Not when it came from them.

Each desperate plea was etched on my consciousness, rang out in my mind as if it had just happened. Still it didn’t drown out the memory of what I’d endured at their hands.

The flames.

My throat caught, I could smell the smoke, heavy and rancid. I brought my collar up to cover my mouth, coughing at the memory, not taking my eyes off the funeral.

I was glad she was dead. I was glad I could have helped and didn’t.

I smiled again.