One of my writing goals this year is to have 3 short stories published, and I’m chuffed that one of them, ‘The Shift’ has been published in Swaglit, a new quarterly magazine for writers in Singapore.
Here’s an extract below and a link to the full story on http://www.swaglit.com
A line snakes out the door and round the corner. Of course I’m stuck at the back of the queue, squinting up at the blackboard menu, trying to ignore the lone ranger contact lense stabbing every corner of my eyeball. Trying to ignore that sick hungry feeling mixed with dread that’s been eating at me all morning.
I’m already fried by this point, squashed into my dress like a pork sausage cooking in its skin, and all I want, all I’m begging for is to be back home with Charlie where I belong.
How I should be: crosslegged on the floor, in shorts and a string camisole that leave me be, ready to catch the little fella as he leaps off the sofa. Or shaking like a madwoman to my divas (Gladys Knight, Beyonce, Kesha – all the greats), lifting a generous leg for my baby-man to run under and grunt in time to the music, while Anna fixes us some homemade lemonade with a pinch of ginger – just the way I like it.
Sweat sticks to my back like a God-awful handprint, and my knickers too. But of course I can’t do anything about that, not here in this very public, very busy square. Not here, where the locals are so bloody skinny, where it’s all tight trousers and tucked-in shirts, mini skirts and five inch heels (bit disgraceful for a corporate setting don’t you think?) and not an ounce of fat between.
I see him crossing Raffles Square. Every other step’s a little run or a skip, like he wants to move faster but he doesn’t want the attention. He looks so gorge dressed up, my Tarik. Dressed so smart he stands up straight so you can’t see the spread in his middle. I can’t help it, I break into a smile. Then I see he’s frowning. At the sun, at me, at his watch, at the queue. The more I smile, the more he frowns. That’s how it is now. That’s why I’m here.
It’s got to stop.
“I think I… I want a divorce”, he gulps the word down. He shoves a forkful of salad in his mouth and stares into the dirty-socks water.