I buried you beneath the barren snag.  I think I’ve trapped you inside the tree; there’s a delicious irony in thinking of you as Daphne. I’m the one who remains, even my bruises have faded to an almost pink tenderness. 

Once, I read a poem that said almost was the saddest word. I think of the word as a blessing. I almost didn’t make it. There was no almost in what I did to you. I hope the word doesn’t turn on me; she almost got away with it. 

Sometimes, I dig into the earth to check you’re still there.

This story was shortlisted in the June 2023 monthly micro fiction competition.

About the author: Fiona Dignan started writing during lockdown to cope with the chaos of home-schooling four children. This year, she won The London Society Poetry Prize and The Plaza Prize for Sudden Fiction. In 2022, she was longlisted for the Reflex Flash Fiction Autumn Prize and EHP Barnard Poetry Prize.