Jamie Gallagher presents his collection of Proud Science! You can read more about him and these fantastic badges here.
Original LGBTQ+ song, “Chlorine”, written and performed by the very talented Rona.
CW: mention of blood
Sophie’s whole body shuddered with a force she’d never felt before. Clutching the roots of her hair with her cracked and bloodied fingers- Sophie ran frantically towards the Gallerybehind Lizzy, nauseous and confused. Before stumbling up the steps, Sophie turned to face the grey glint of an apocalyptic sun. She sighed, raspy, as her view of the woman she couldn’t save disappeared behind a shroud of low-lying fog, also obscuring her view of it. Sophie fixated on it’s striking red eyes and a scaly, devilish grin that made the hair on her arm stand to fearful attention, like wispy soldiers blowing in the freezing breeze. Those claws. Claws ready to tear flesh at any given moment.
CW: Car accident, death
This was her hourglass, and when I flip it over, I can hear her voice, bickering with me about how long to boil an egg. Telling me I’ve thought long enough, and it’s time to put the Scrabble letters on the board. Asking me to tell her when the time’s up so that she can pour the perfect four-minute cup of tea. Laughing as I time her putting up her waist length hair to go to work. Insisting that she was only going to be out in the garden for five minutes, and grinning when she came back to find me standing in the doorway, hourglass in hand.
It was in my pocket that night. I was home before her, and I was getting ready to make bread. I’d mixed the yeast and the warm water and the sugar. The timer was broken, so I’d decided to let the hourglass run through four times to give the mixture time to froth. It wasn’t really necessary but watching the sand run through the glass in the sleepy warm afternoon sunshine was soothing, almost hypnotic. The sound of the crash took a moment to work its way into my befuddled head.
It was all done by the time I got to the garden gate. A man sat inside the deep red Jaguar, his hair falling forwards, his face blank and white. And tucked underneath the gleaming front bumper, her bicycle. She was face down, still and quiet, her tweed skirt rucked up around her knees, her white silk shirt growing pink. And a cascade of late cabbage roses and heady sweet peas scattered around her. When I close my eyes, all I can see is her pink lace slip, her favourite, almost frivolous under the hem of her sensible skirt.
The ambulance arrived in seconds, or in days, I’m not quite sure which, and I was shooed away by the capable and set-faced men in uniform. We didn’t have a car, but Mr Jenkins, our neighbour, drove me over to the hospital.
They wouldn’t let me in to see her. I was only her landlady, the spinster she shared a house with. I found the hourglass in my pocket – it must have been in my hand as I ran out of the door. It was wrapped tight in my fingers when I heard her voice, quiet, tense, asking for me. But still they wouldn’t let me in. All they wanted to know from me was whether she had any family, and where they were. I told them what I knew.
They left me alone, and I turned the hourglass over and over, but I didn’t hear her voice any more. I must have dozed in that hard wooden chair, because the next I heard was an auxiliary, rubber-soled shoes squeaking on the polished floor, with an elderly woman on her arm. Later, a frantic call for a nurse, running feet, and then a doctor, walking quietly, a man in no hurry. And I knew.
On the long, cold bus journey home, the hourglass turned and glinted under my fingers, under the early morning streetlights, and all I could think was at least she didn’t die alone.
Her brother came to clear her things, and he treated me civilly, distantly. No discomfort, just the politeness reserved for staff. He told me about the funeral, and seemed surprised when I turned up. I sat at the back, looking at the grieving family in the front two rows. I said my silent goodbyes. And I never had another… tenant.
I’ve still got the hourglass, and now, watching the sand running though, it feels I’m seeing my future running through into my past. I might give it to my niece, when she marries her girlfriend next weekend, in the registry office right next to the beautiful park. We will have a picnic in the sunshine, she said. I might tell her what I have told no-one else, about the woman who, in a different life, could have been her aunt. I think they might understand.
Lola Fierce is a Glasgow-based Drag Artist with a newly released single, “Born Again”. It is concerned with reminiscing about the past, the happiness you felt, and wishing you could just go back to live it all over again. Her song covers how Lola felt during lockdown; yearning to be making some new memories! The music video covers a range of themes – most of which Lola feels are relatable to those in the LGBTQ+ community.
”I hope everyone really enjoys and loves the video just as much as I do. It definitely makes me feel proud and happy to be a queer person.“
You can check out more of Lola’s work, and her single “Born Again”, by heading to her Artist Profile.
CW: blood, wound.
Lizzy wishes she could’ve stayed there forever with Sophie. The thought of the apocalypse was far in the back of their mind. The harsh realities of the seemingly empty, still world outside becoming a distant memory. Hours seemed to pass for the both of them as they stared intently at the painting, Lizzy tightening her arms around their girlfriend. Unfortunately, something dragged the two out of their dream, or rather someone. They heard screaming coming from outside the gallery doors, a cry of pain, a cry for help. Sophie immediately shot up, pulling herself from the warmth of Lizzy’s shoulder and instinctively grabbing their hand, before dragging them both to the front doors of the gallery.Continue reading A Queerativity Tale Chapter four