Walls by Amy O’Neil


Amy O’Neil 

I press an ear to the protruding wall in my bathroom and listen for a bird, a cough, anything.

Once I heard an old man singing. Another time, a mother read bedtime stories.

I heard New Year celebrations in spring, chatter from an Italian barber shop, the whirring machines of a commercial gym.

For weeks now the little wall has been silent.

I knock loudly and wait.

Then, I recognise her raspy chuckle.


It’s been years since I heard the voice of my Czech grandmother, telling me not to worry. It would all be over soon.


About the author: Amy O’Neil is an emerging writer living in Brighton with her partner and two children, currently working on her first novel. Her stories have been shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize, highly commended in Glimmer Train’s Family Matters competition, recommended in LISP flash fiction competition, won Curtis Brown’s #WriteCBC flash competition, and shortlisted for Retreat West’s ‘Fire’ themed competition and won Mslexia’s Little Ms microfiction competition.

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