All the things Beth from the corner shop told me when she first saw my bruises:

Teach the bairn to get help!
I dangle Ollie’s tiny fingertip over the keypad. ‘Press nine three times and shout police if
Daddy makes Mummy play sleeping lions.’

My boy’s scared of lions, but I tell him it’s the hunter he should fear.

Build a safety net!
Beth’s hidden our passports. Keeps a spare set of keys to my house. She gives me inflated
receipts for the stuff I buy. I’ve enough money to last a month without him.

Keep your car fuelled!
Because when our day comes, my boy and me, we’re gonna sprint like cheetahs, never looking back!


About the author: Eleanor Luke lives in Spain with her husband, two teenagers and a small menagerie. Her stories have appeared in The Birdseed, FreeFlashFiction, FlashFlood, Retreat West. Longlist Reflex flash fiction. Top ten Oxford Flash Fiction Prize 2022. When not writing, Eleanor can be found eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. Twitter @Eleanor_Luke24