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This is Going to Hurt

This is Going to Hurt
Francesca Sowerbutts

‘This is going to hurt,’ he says, ‘but it will be quick’. Sweat beads roll one after the other down the curve of my spine, staining my pale blue t-shirt with fear. The man wields the gun in front of my face, smiling cheerfully. The girl next to me rolls her eyes. ‘You look like you’re going to pass out.’

‘You’re not the one about to die!’ I yell and the sound slaps her in the face.

‘You have got to be kidding,’ the man sighs, ‘I’ve done this thousands of times. Soon it will all be over.’

‘You’re a murderer!’ I cry and try to struggle out of the chair.

‘Can you-’ he gestures to the girl beside me, and she puts two firm hands on my shoulders to trap me. Bile rises up in my throat, scorching my flesh as the man brings the gun up next to my head. My fingernails dig deep into my soft palms, leaving crescent-shaped wounds. ‘On the count of three,’ he says.


My head is spinning.


I’ve lost the ability to breathe.


A loud pop bursts out of the barrel. I scream and put my hands up to my head.
‘NO! Don’t touch them!’ he says firmly as I attempt to fiddle with my freshly pierced ears.

‘Ok! My turn. Finally.’ The girl snarls and shoves me roughly off of the chair.
Later as I walk home, I call my mother to tell her about my near-death experience. She just laughs and says ‘You really are prone to exaggeration.’


Issue 13 contents page