Over the summer, I enrolled on a little online course called the Superlatively Rude Summer School.
If that sounds familiar, that’s either because 1) you were enrolled on it yourself, 2) you saw me talk about it relentlessly on Twitter, or 3) you’ve seen the short stories I’ve posted written because of that very course.
Millie swallowed down the pill with a big gulp. She could feel the cold water trickle down her chest and land in the pit of her stomach.
“You may experience some nausea and dizziness for the first few weeks,” the doctor had said, “but that will pass. Some people experience a loss of sex drive, but symptoms are different for everyone.”
Even less of a drive than I already have? Lucky me, she had thought to herself. She turned the pill packet over and read the back: take once a day with food. She feebly picked at the sandwich she had made earlier to satiate the numb feeling in her stomach that she supposed was hunger. She barely felt the tingle of mustard on her tongue when she bit into it; nothing tasted quite like it did before.
They saw one another from across the park. Their eyes met briefly before she looked away again, happily chattering on the phone. A sudden shriek of laughter erupted from her lips, and he could have sworn that a flock of nearby birds took off into the grey sky as she did. Her cackle was almost as loud as her natural register as she spoke, and he wondered how someone could be so unaware of her volume control.
I stepped into the windowless, grey cube and thought, ‘Is this where the bright future of tomorrow is learning to fix the world? How depressing.’ But I wasn’t here to learn; I was here to audition for a low-budget university play. Though I may as well have been auditioning for the West End, for the amount of butterflies trying to escape my stomach.