Rachel O'Neill

The children have grown

One day you look around and find that there are children who have grown monstrously large. They run but are lopsided. They grow silent in ways that seem to influence time. You are unsure that it is the right thing to do but you sniff socks, and open lunchboxes. The clues are scant, until you discover chat rooms that offer advice—the child is a magnet seeking its little earth, the lodestone that will secure its weight to the world. In the next phase the child will put on a mask. You are prepared. You know now not to use the little sewing scissors on the elastic at the back. The child must be the first to indicate whether they are staying in or coming out. You feel more confident and start to relax, until it hits you—where did these children come from? Who had them before you?

Author’s Note


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