“Everybody’s Hurt,” flash fiction by Jill M. Talbot

“Can we do this outside, I want a cigarette.”

“I heard that phone call, played it over and over, it sounded real—there’s a girl in real trouble, I thought—now just tell us what happened.”

“Nothing happened.”

“So you called 911 for fun?”

“I didn’t say that, I said that I was confused.”

“Are you confused now?”

“Only on why you won’t leave me alone.”

“You called 911, we have to ask.”

“But you have asked and I answered.”

“Something must’ve happened.”

“Nothing happened.”

“So this whole thing was a prank? That’ll go on your record, you know.”

“It wasn’t a prank.”

“You know if some other girl gets hurt—god forbid—and you could’ve stopped it …”

“I can’t stop it.”

“We can find him.”

“No you can’t.”

“I thought nothing happened?”

“That’s right, nothing happened.”

“Won’t you feel guilty if you see in the news that someone has been hurt?”

“Someone has always been hurt.”

“You have been hurt.”

“The whole world is hurting. Come back tomorrow and we can drink to all the hurts in the world.”

“Do you think this is a game?”

“I told you all there is to tell you. Everybody’s hurt.”


Jill M. Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology before pursing her passion for writing. Jill has appeared in GeistRattlePoetry Is DeadThe PuritanMatrixsubTerrain, and The Tishman Review. Jill was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.

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