If they flogged me it would be no worse, but I’m a woman so they won’t. They haven’t the guts. Instead, they give me the shirts from the men’s wing and they tell me to wash away the blood and salt and the fluid like custard that seeps from the wounds. And when I can’t clean them, ‘cos there aint nothing can clean that stain, they take away what they call my privileges. Ha. And they march me between the cells, slowly, because they think the words will sting. They strip me and spit on me and throw me in the confinement cell. For my own good, they say. But what’s the use, they say, because no good ever came to a baby farmer like you. Lower than a dog. Shows what they know. Those children was marked before they was ever brought to me. Most before they was born, I reckon. The guards think they’ll break me. But bluestone blocks for dirty lanes or prison walls is all the same. Cobbles and dust; all I’ve ever known.
Cobbles and dust
Richard Holt stories 1 Minute
Published by Richard Holt
A writer from Melbourne, Richard maintains a number of blogs exploring very short fiction and text-based art practices. His stories and poems have been published in both mainstream and alternative journals and collections. He is also a visual artist and was co-founder of both Platform Artists Group and zine store, Sticky. He continues to publish very short fiction and conduct microfiction workshops for practicing writers, students and others. He has created numerous text-based installations and artworks for public spaces, including at Federation Square, Melbourne and in conjunction with the 2017, Newcastle Writers Festival. View all posts by Richard Holt
3 thoughts on “Cobbles and dust”
your rhythm is fantastic
I think using the present tense really adds to this, makes it more urgent and powerful
Thanks. That’s definitely a writer’s observation. Compacted narratives like this have to be almost musical to work at their best I think, so it’s something I do strive for.