By Kathy Hoyle
Her hand was still achingly smooth, gripping tightly to the bedsheet.
‘Gone too young,’ they said, eyes heavenward …
As if I believe in that asshole.
I found an old birthday card, written in black scrawl, with looped flowers and slanted kisses, and a ceramic owl, with a chipped beak and a sneering side-eye, painted in primary colours. I held them up, inhaled them while I wept on her bed, basking in a stream of sunlight.
She lay against pale silk, her lips pulled into a smile, peaceful and insincere.
The dead hide the truth just as well as the living.
Kathy Hoyle is an MA student at The University of Leicester. On her fortieth birthday she gave herself the gift of writing and hasn’t stopped since. Her work has appeared in Spelk, Reflex Fiction and Ellipsiszine. She was shortlisted for The Exeter Short Story Competition and the Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize.