1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.


10th August 2010

By Melissa Lee-Houghton | 2010 August 10

I am quivering. You are two big arms around my body and I am afraid of what I might say to you. In the dark my stomach cramps from all the pills, I have to turn on my side and breathe through the nausea. The pills eventually put me to sleep, it’s been that way for years, and my body doesn’t know what natural sleep is, a switch just turns off and I’m carried away.

Do you want to talk about the dark things? In bed in the dark, before you sleep? Darling that’s dangerous, you’ll infect your subconscious, you’ll wake up cold again. Instead, dream of your children’s uncle as an old vampire you want to take care of. And dream that the sandman can’t catch you up

Because the truth hurts every hour of every day.

Moths flutter about the lightshade as you turn it on and say gently, what’s wrong. I say please don’t ask me, I’m freezing, I can’t speak. In my head I am trying not to focus on images or words. I don’t want you to know that it’s got me this time, the memory. I never wanted to be a victim. Sometimes I’m so preoccupied that I don’t hear you when you’re speaking to me, the world is blurred and I’m attuned like a wolf to the smell of blood.

The town is sadness. The town is a creep. An emptiness. It gets you pissed, it collapses your heart and your hope and you walk around holding your kids’ hands and praying silently, inwardly, that they won’t get to know what this feels like. 

Pills, Fear, Sleep

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