Sunday 7 February 2021

Fright or flight


by Amanda Jones

please, just one hot drink


Once again you stand on the doorstep clutching a small bag. What could she need? She looked out onto the street. Dare she? She was little, no more than six years old. That was the first time.

Even then a homeless existence pulled ever more closer. When she was a little older the police came to school to talk and she saw the alcohol and drugs. But what about the lives of the homeless people. They all had lives. Different lives. They had made a choice of flight. Fighting fright or flight.

The alternative was fright.

A continuous existence of walking on egg-shells. Never knowing what the next minute would bring.

Cold, wet nights on doorsteps. Huddled in gutters and urine-stained clothes wrapped around. It was common to see homeless people. One guy was resident on a bench in the park. Sodden cardboard made another shelter in a shop doorway. People walked on by. Nobody gave money to fuel their addictions. And so, nothing was given.

She was around nine years old then.

There was disgust and apprehension in the crowds of oblivion. Packed like ants marching and marching and marching their heads bowed down.

Why didn’t they look up?

She never understood.

And so, time and time again, she stood on her doorstep. A limbo between flight or fright. It lasted for what seemed like forever, childhood seemed to take more time than adulthood and days got faster and faster. Her belief staid her decision. To give up would be to defy God and with prayers every night she could not break a bond of love for Mum. So she stayed and fright or flight was internalised to be physically materialised into a world much later where stress was a proven provocation.

 About the author

Amanda has been writing since childhood and along with short stories she writes her Missy Dog charity series, poetry, non-fiction and horror. You can find her here:





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