Disclaimer (another one). The following flash fiction does not reflect the opinions of Lily Childs, or anyone else Lily happens to know/be.
WELFARE AND SCHOOL GATES
They follow me home.
Trajectory reflections on wet, winter windows give them away. Sly expressions on sneering cold faces bear down on me; judging, accusing me.
I stop suddenly. I pivot on sodden leaves; rain penetrates the holes in the soles of my boots.
There’s no-one there.
Yet they’re with me still as I reach my house. Living ghosts. Uninvited they knock, not at my door but inside my head. They pound on my walls with their criticisms.
School letters with threats tear at my sanity. I question my ability to raise my children. I don’t blend in. I am not the pristine parent with neat, tight hair. My babies do not go to this club or that club. I do not want to meet up for frothy coffee with other mums who do not care to work for a living, and gossip about their uninteresting lives.
My sons and me… We don’t need the gazes of the snoots and the snoops. But they won’t leave us be.
Next time they hound me, I’ll lock us in, keep my boys with me, and never go out again.
Give them a real reason to hunt me down.