Punnett Square

By Anonymous

The hue of rage is black not red.

He taught her this when she was six, and he locked her out of her house for being a child, a crescent moon night beat blacker by darkening bruises in the crook of her arm.

He taught her this when she was eight, with a black belt lashed across skin made wet so the nerves would sting and sour, the blood would flow not stymy.

He taught her this when she was twelve, and he drew dark circles over her brother’s eyes, her mother’s wrists.

The Calls

By Claire Wilkins

It was me who made the two anonymous calls.

1988

You denied your ex-husband visitation rights to see his two and four-year-old children. All your siblings came to support you when you had to appear in family court. You were facing a prison sentence and a large fine. We were worried.

Your little ones were taken to a top East Coast doctor who confirmed their father’s sexual abuse.

Your eldest bravely spoke to the child psychologist and, in his limited language, corroborated what his father had done to he and his sister. Your older brothers talked about getting a hitman to kill your ex, others talked about having you leave the country.

Dissident

By Anonymous

Call it what you will; It looks dirty on a page. Sometimes I want to give it an airing – like position it on those double-letter-triple-word Scrabble squares, or adopt a goat and sear its untroubled hide with pathology, or yell it from the seawall, into a forest of anemone and periwinkles. The wind will take it on the chin. The evening will gulp it back, like it is an everyday meal.

I will only squirm softly. I promise I won’t yell it back, into the suburbs, across the tenements, over public swimming baths and over the lawns of people who drink maraschino cherries in their Sunday cocktails. Call it what you might. It is a strange aberration. I am a cowboy and a dissident, in these temperate zone places. I am a bearer of abominable names.

Schizophrenia is a cannibalistic Matryoshka doll; it is innocence without alibi, the final spasms of the yard hen decapitated. It is double-binds and cognitive-dissonance and an invective dinner for one. Your eyeball is not your own.

A Confession

By Aimée Keeble

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

This is a confessional- blue and yellow, cheap and uncheerful. I’ve worn myself dull.

This is an acknowledgement of things ruined:

Hi! I wrote a few thoughts down on things that didn’t matter- bits of receipt paper (I found the one from CVS when you bought me a Plan B pill! Congrats on the new baby btw!), the back of my hand; I wrote a note and fit it between two exposed bricks on the market side of the cafe I work in. It said ‘I love you’ and I was writing for the defunct and the finished. And perhaps for a Serendipity (which is pink and has flippers and giant cow lashes, remember??)

Nah, you were too young to remember that book, eight years too young I reckon. That’s probably the reason we aren’t together- you are culturally premature and won’t remember the music video to Bullet with Butterfly Wings. You’re such a boring cunt.

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Uncanny Stranger

By Stevie Heaven

My parents were identity thieves.

I am a ghost story: haunted by the familial triad and its organised crimes. I am a misopater, an Electra complex, I am full of nature, anulled by nurture. I am from outer space, a turn-men-to-spaghetti black hole, and I have mysteries to solve.

I got stranded in this strange galaxy. Floating, lawless, anti-mattered, jumbled by time. With goldfish bowl around head and astronaut pen in bloodied hand.

I am writing myself out of the page.

I am a pickpocket, a magpie, collecting fragments and vignettes to tell this story:

I had one absent father, until I had two. Yes. Stuck in the family church, daddy. Like a tom cat pissing on your ancient pew.

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About me

Hi, I’m Stephanie Jones-Berry, the editor and curator of the All Those Things Left Unsaid project.

I’m a qualified journalist with more than a decade’s experience in reporting and editing. See my LinkedIn here for more details.

Around the sides of my day job, I’m on the creative writing MLitt programme at the University of Glasgow.

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