Joanne was just twelve years old when the bomb stole her face away. She was lucky, people told her. Her best friend Laura, who had been sitting less than two feet away from her, had been killed. On her worst days, Joanne feels that Laura has been the lucky one.

For five years Joanne suffered operation after operation. As her body developed from girl to young woman, so her face was slowly rebuilt. She would never look right, Joanne knew, but she still had sight in one eye, and she could see that if the bomb had never exploded, or if she’d gone elsewhere that day, she might have been beautiful. When she tilts the full-length mirror in her parent’s room just so, Joanne is pleased with what she sees. She is tall and slim, with long, shapely legs and breasts that are neither too large, nor too small, for her frame…

‘’ was first published in ‘Nerve House’ Issue 1, based in the USA, in 2004.

It was also published in the Northern Ireland literary magazine ‘Ulla’s Nib: Issue 4’ (Summer 2008).


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