Because…their faces never betray how they really feel

Sharon Boyle

The psychiatrist asks them to draw an animal they ‘identify with’.
Delores doesn’t want to draw. She wants to leave. But Ma has placed her here, and trapped folk do as they’re told.
She could draw an eagle to peck out Ma’s eyes; a boa to splinter Ma’s spine; a bull to smash Ma’s bones; a scorpion to barb, a hippo to squash, a bear to tear, a kangaroo to KO, an alligator to roll and sink and drown.
She draws a kitten.
‘Why a kitten, Delores?’
‘Because they’re sweet and wholesome like Ma says I should be.’

About the author: Sharon lives in East Lothian, Scotland and writes around her family and part-time job. Her short stories and flash pieces have been published on-line and in authologies, including Ellipsis Zine, Bath and Fictive Dream. Her YA novel has recently been shortlisted in MSlexia Children’s Novel comp. She tweets as @SharonBoyle50