Cheap Cuts

She’s proud of her charity shop finds and her second-hand library. She walks or catches the bus. She uses up leftovers and shops for cheap cuts, has taught herself to darn, dye and make do.

When she left the money and ran, she didn’t mind arranging sprigs of wildflowers in a jam jar or saving coupons torn from the newspaper. She hasn’t missed the Michelin stars flutes of Champagne, or sun-drenched holidays abroad.

She lays a spare place at the table, crumples the unsullied side of bed, and knows it’s the fear she can’t change. Fear of never loving again.

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

About the author: Emily Macdonald was born in England but grew up in New Zealand. She has won and been placed in several competitions and has work published in anthologies and journals including Fictive Dream, Reflex Fiction, Retreat West, Crow & Cross Keys, Ellipsis Zine, Roi Fainéant, Free Flash Fiction and The Phare.