Freakshow, Third Grade

By L Scully

It Will Get Worse, she says, smiling the big-toothed grin of children. You put your head down because you don’t want to hear it. Long summer days of playhouses and princesses and dress-up-box skirts trailing mud in the ocean of pretend. You’re nine. You walk down the long street you share with your best friend, careful to avoid each crack in the pavement for fear of condemning your family to an untimely death. You’ve just told her about the angry little voices in your head telling you to wash your nine-year-old sins away, scrubbing the skin off your hands. The angry little voices telling you not to swallow after the sun goes down because you’ll choke on your tongue in the dark. The voices you spend your waking life trying to extinguish. It Will Get Worse, she says, smiling. Not knowing the cutting truth of the words of children, her eyes big and unsquinting in the sunlight. You narrowly avoid a crack in the sidewalk. She is right. It does.


Author:

L Scully (they/them) is a queer writer and double Capricorn currently based in Madrid. Find them in the ether @LRScully.


This piece is a part of DISTANCED 2.0.

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