In The Shade Of My Mother

“I’m fine,” she says in the learned English way though her dry skin is scaly, her voice as rasping as bark. When I hug her close, I feel she might break. Her bones are twig-brittle, bare of the plumpness of blossom.

“And you?” she asks.

“All good,” I reply, and we let both our lies slide though once she was sturdy, strong rooted and sure. 

Now I’m the ripe one, bearing fruit and though she still feeds me seeds of her wisdom, feeds me with love, I’m already grieving, knowing she’ll be leaving me soon. Leaving me hungry for more.


This story won first prize and the People’s Prize in the June 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 writing competitions and has work published in print anthologies and on-line journals including Fictive Dream, Reflex Fiction, Lucent Dreaming, Retreat West, Ellipsis Zine, Roi Fainéant, Flash Frontier, Free Flash Fiction and The Phare.