The Forms I Took to Escape From You

Sharon Telfer


… you, all slippery sweetness baiting your trap, me, gliding sliding straight in, wriggling slithering bumping those curving lips closing in writhing the edges curling in those grappling fingers the turning back, impossible …


I roared. You muzzled my jaw and set hot metal under my feet, clapped as I danced to your wheezy song. I curled all winter sucking my scorched paws.


Scuttled, skirting board life. Crumbs.

Eyes bulging. Whiskers snapped violin strings.

Shrunk to silence, stillness.


But no! Your studied pounce, your calculating claws, your pinning down. Your waiting.


I [I] click mapping click I [I] high click click flying click find [find] [find] click you [you] squat [you] I high click [I] paper wings over click you [you] click click mapping [squat] over [you] click high [over] find click [you] beyond [you] click out of range [beyond] click your range mapping [mapping] high click [out of] click find [out] [out] click click mapping


A gap narrow as a golden ring, wide enough to worm through one snoring night, out into the frost’s sharp glitter, dragging my hard-learned fierce deception, my terrible newfound hunger, in my freshly biting teeth.

Sharon Telfer lives near York, UK. Her stories have won prizes including the Bath Flash Fiction Award (twice) and the Reflex Fiction Prize, and have featured in Best Microfictions and the BIFFY50 lists. Her debut flash fiction collection, The Map Waits, is published by Reflex Press in summer 2021. She is an editor at FlashBack Fiction, the showcase for historical flash. She tweets at @sharontelfer.