Top 10 – North & South Short Short Story Competition 2019

Michael Botur


I hope you’ve been knocked off your bike by a truck.

I pray you’re lying in the gutter on Dom Road.

You have to be outside Wang Wang Pancake with a crushed cellphone screen and Samaritan fingertips lifting your armpits.  

I expect you’re torniquetted with a Mt Albert Grammar rugby shirt knitted round your knee and you’re hobbling to a park bench to rest your weight and wince and ache.

I want your anterior cruciate ligament to need linament snatched off the shelf at Unichem and for the panicked pharmacist to phone the police. It’s essential passers-by intervene, maybe hold you down on the Welcome mat. I want the ointment to ache and you to roll on the cream carpet and scream. I demand your tendon be bruised black, pressed against the nubbin and torn. It would please me infinitely if your lateral ligament were rubbing against the ripped cord of gristle and you shivered and hiccuped your lunch as you eased up, limped to the counter, vomiting apology, your card, your bag, your Eftpos can’t be got, they were crunched under the wheel of the Toll truck and now you’re stuck, busted bike, no money, far from home, broken bone, munted phone because you don’t message me, you don’t text, you don’t Tweet, you don’t ring.

You’re late home, you haven’t answered my calls.

I’m scared sick, these are scenes playing in the anxious Odeon in my cranium, my spinning brain, my fretting head which is why I’m bargaining, haggling, shaking the shoulder of God, tossing offerings, praying for less-pain to trade cause you haven’t showed and barely surviving is better than my baby being dead.

I hope you got hit by a truck – like I said.