Alphabet Soup

by Catherine O’Brien

A girl with coils of jet black hair sits at a rickety-legged table pushing the letters before her in their viscous liquid to and fro. ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ were lost when she opened the carton with the ‘one chance’ scissors over the sink. There is only one letter she is unwilling to compromise in relation to and so, restless, she rises and retrieves a bigger spoon. Upon returning, she soon finds and salvages what she’s looking for, it’s ‘S’. ‘S’ is for sister, her sister, and she tells herself this as she runs to get a zip lock bag (those things don’t disintegrate). As breathless as a marathon runner not a sprinter, she tenderly places her inside, folds down the excess and places ‘S’ close to her heart.


Catherine O’Brien is an Irish writer of poems, flash fiction and short stories. She writes bi-lingually in both English and Irish. She holds a doctorate in English Language and Literature. Her work is forthcoming in Iris Comhar (July) and Free Flash Fiction (December).