Monday 23 November 2020

Returns Not Accepted


by Amy B Moreno 

a double-shot macchiato

The walls of the changing room were painted the colour of surgical bandages; lightly blistered.   The piped-in pop music was bubble gum sweet and sickly.  Felicity twisted her shoulders as a hungry bead of sweat made its way down her spine.

Her fingers fumbled around the front of the dress, buttons straining in dissent.  Her centre protested, pushing against the seams.  She side-eyed her reflection, and a rosy marshmallow frowned back.

Viewed this way, from the outside, she looked like she was missing a piece. Her face bore abandoned crochet holes where glinting hoops had sung.  Her hair limped along, carrying faded sky-blue tips.

But inside, underneath the pastel-pink, sat a fierce punk rocker, waiting for the next time it was her turn.  She would be blue spiked with tattoo sleeves and complicated boots.

And, reaching yet further inside, into the tryptic mirror, Felicity knew there lurked something else altogether: the final piece of a painted Russian doll.

Pencil scribbles stretchmarks worked their way from one side of the changing room wall to the other.  She pulled off the dress and the white-blonde hairs on her arms stood to attention, heckles up.  Swallowing back the acrid worries, she quickly stuffed the unwanted maternity dress into her schoolbag and exited the cubicle.

About the author 

Amy B. Moreno writes poetry and prose for adults and children. She writes in English, Scots, and Spanish, including multilingual pieces. She has recently been published by MsLexia (Little Ms), Secret Attic, The Common Breath, The London Reader, The Scottish Book Trust, and The Ogilvie Literary Review.

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