No Second Chance
The winter had brought me darkness, made me cold to the bones, kept me hidden inside. A need for warmth set my desire for kindling. A wigwam of newspaper and dried twigs waited in the grate. And there was the axe, weapon-ready from the night before when I feared an intruder in the cellar. I swung and missed first time. The log wobbled, rocked before settling like the last vibrations of a saucepan lid dropped on the kitchen floor. So I held it still; thick log suddenly dainty between my thumb and forefinger. Next swing hit. Metal threatening my veins with black paint and mud. I needed to bleed. The air, fresh with evergreens and lingering frost held my mind sharp. I couldn’t look. I just raised my hand as if to ask a question and began pacing. Wash it under the tap, she said. Too fragile. Hardly joined. I refused. I saved my fainting for the doctor, for the moment he wielded metal trimmers to scissor my finger straight. Bio: Sue Finch’s debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in 2020. She loves the coast and the scent of ice-cream freezers. You can follow Sue on Twitter: @soopoftheday.