fiction Persist

A White Sheet of Paper

A young girl feels as though she is drowning – so she writes her way out. A wonderful piece of flash fiction from Siobhan Carrol.

by Siobhan Carroll

Scene: a white sheet of paper.

A crudely drawn girl (me) steps on to the page. As she walks the accumulation of her experiences, feelings and emotions drip around her.

At first, they are small and infrequent. She can keep walking and is fine.

Then they start to fill the bottom of the page. She lifts her skirts and walks more delicately through hope after a successful first date, sadness at the loss of a friend, relief at successfully running for the bus, the taste of the tuna sandwich she ate at lunch.

Suddenly they become an overwhelming wave. She cannot swim, or surf or ride this wave. She is caught and sure she is going to die.

She frantically checks her pockets for something – anything – to help and finds a perfectly realised old-fashioned ink pen. She dips it in the deep blue swirl and as she writes, she creates a raft. From her relative safety on the raft, she creates a boat, an island, land, houses, a community, a life.

The pool of emotions still laps at the sand of her island.

When she hears the drip, drip, drip, she checks for her pen.

It is there. She will be okay.


Siobhan Carroll | @siobhanclaude_ | siobhanclaudevandamme.co.uk

Siobhan Carroll is a writer based in Edinburgh. She writes a blog about her life and mental health as well as writing poetry, flash fiction and short stories. She is currently working on an anti-romance novel about a woman called Poppy.

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