Suzanne Verrall             

When little Susie stepped on a crack in the pavement it opened up and swallowed her. Nobody noticed it happening. If she’d been holding her mother’s hand things may have been different. 

But her mother had a habit of squeezing little Susie’s knuckles until they felt like ball-bearings and Susie had wriggled her pink sausage fingers away from the commanding grasp just seconds before.            

Skipping one moment, tumbling head over heels like a circus performer the next, Susie landed on a cloud of what felt and smelt like sawdust. She saw she was surrounded by bears. 

My my. 

She took a breath and crossed her legs so as not to wet herself. The bears, which were gathered together more or less in a ring, eyed Susie curiously. They were brown bears. They were big bears.         

“I’m not afraid of you,” said Susie in a loud voice.          

Nevertheless, they ate her. 


Suzanne Verrall lives in Adelaide, Australia. Her flash fiction, essays and poetry appear in Atlas and Alice, Flash Frontier, Archer Magazine, Lip Magazine, Poetry NZ Yearbook, Australian Poetry Journal, and others.

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