short story: Ruined Things Are Only Gorgeous When They Are Not Yours
Driving along the motorway, the radio crackled. She wanted to trace something on the window, but couldn’t think what. She fiddled with buttons, found an old song they both liked and turned it up. She imagined she was going to Berlin, to meet girls wearing orange lipstick and boots, tall and forward in the chaos of other people.
They saw the night as it was, straight in front of them, dark sky and long road, their vision tripping over the cats eyes.
She wanted to beat along the road on a horse, riding to or from love. She wanted the raw scrub to cut her when she fell off and got back on. She wanted sunburn, short fingernails. She wanted to steal, to make intense connections, a small, clean room with a wooden floor.
They wanted to blow something up. They wanted to come until one of them broke. They wanted to put their finger in her mouth, the other on her throat and let her swallow them up before they wanted to leave.
They knew what the world was and how to live straight ahead. They knew how to touch her waist, how not to make a god of her.
She wanted to meet someone terrible who would promise to keep her safe. She wanted eye contact, someone whose lap she could sit on and put her arms around. She wanted to watch the light from the window ease into dark, to keep it and have it mean something, marked somewhere in dirt for when she was old and maybe alone.
They drove up behind a van. She imagined crashing into it, shuddering forward unsteadily, a colt on two front legs. It struck her somewhere along her teeth and jaw that she would probably piss herself before he died.
Anna Walsh is an Irish writer based in Glasgow. They have had poetry and prose published in Fallow Media, Spamzine, and the Honest Ulsterman, among others. They have work forthcoming in The Stinging Fly and SoHormonal anthology. They are currently working on a short story collection. Their debut poetry collection will be published in 2020, in conjunction with the Small Trans Library.