Touch will be published in the Nottingham Writers Studio copy of Zine 2020!
A collection of short stories based around the theme of "The Outside World", copies will be distributed across Nottingham libraries and arts venues.
A kiss. A hug. A handshake.
It’s our first form of communication, something we rarely think about.
The feeling of your hand in mine; it connects us in times of celebration and happiness. It comforts us in times of sadness and fear.
Our bodies crave it. The connection, The security, The comfort. Touch has power.
The power to kill.
One touch, for the price of one hundred lives. It sounds surreal, I know. Like something pulled straight from the pages of a sci-fi novel. The girl with the lethal touch. A made-up story, a nightmare, a fantasy book. It will never happen to us. It will never happen to me.
But here I am, listening to the clock tick and watching the dust settle on the street outside my bedroom window. I’m not scared of catching the Coronavirus. I am scared of spreading it on. Is a hug worth the potential risk of hurting a loved one? Do I unknowingly cradle the monster in my hands?
I don’t know.
That is why we are on lockdown, to protect ourselves from each other. One by one the theatres, the shops, the schools, the restaurants, all go dark; and we are left in isolation. Cut off from physical contact, human touch. But we are not alone.
I race downstairs as the clock ticks a little louder, and my blood rushes with anticipation. What if no one is out there? I banish the thought from my mind. My hand clamped around the doorknob feels electric, like I’m holding onto forbidden fruit. Like I’m inviting in the monsters lurking outside. When did that happen? When did the world become a monster and we shrank to become its prey?
The clock chimes eight and my lungs expand with air; thankful I’m still able to afford that luxury. I throw the door open and a weave of shouts and screams explode into the night. A smile burns across my lips and my hands clap with theirs, like a heart beating together. Sending one clear message to the world. We are in this together, and we will not be defeated.