She Would Hate All This Publicity by Louella Lester

Brown eyes. She’s the one who’s difficult to find in a photo, as though she’s been practicing to avoid this all her life. Who slips into the living room at a kitchen party. Hides in the basement when everyone’s upstairs. The blur in a crowded selfie.

Long brown hair. The one who floats alone in the lake, minnows fooled into thinking her drifting locks are seaweed. Who lies on her back in a ripening field, watching clouds change shape for the breeze. Lifts her finger across her lips. Points out the deer blending into the nibbled branches along the road’s edge.

5’4” 120 lbs. She’s the one who stays at the table guarding the syrupy drinks. Who watches the other girls dance with abandon. Smiles as they shout and wave their arms to shoo away the men who hover like fruit flies. Avoids hearing her own voice.

Scar above left eyebrow. The one who slips out the door, midway through the party. Who no one sees leaving. Walks home alone, earbuds in, humming to the music. Expects nothing out of the ordinary to happen tonight.

Last seen wearing jeans and a black t-shirt.

Louella Lester is a writer/photographer in Winnipeg, Canada. Her writing has appeared in Blink-Ink, Potato Soup, Cleaver, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Litro, Five Minutes, SoFloPoJo, Daily Drunk, Six Sentences, New Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction, and a variety of other journals & anthologies. Her Flash-CNF book, Glass Bricks, is published by At Bay Press (April 2021).

Feet running up a set of stairs

Photo by Harris Vo on Unsplash

Share This