The eyes have it

The lifflin watches you. That’s what it does. Eyes the size of apple pies, the ones in the thin boxes, the ones with the flabby crusts and tiny pastry apples that smell of childhood holidays: canvas, bite cream and rain. Each eye bigger than its brain. Seeing is more than understanding. For the lifflin, seeing is all.

It sees you fumble for keys. Too much wine, your motor skills stalling, you drop them, turn to your phone screen for feeble light, scour the pavement, half falling yourself in the long slow insuperable descent that presages sleep.

The lifflin watches you.

The fear of falling

As Winifred regarded its taut metal tracks, her stomach objected. She had lined up nevertheless with the rest.

She was sure she’d enjoy it – or, more likely, enjoy being done with it, like public speaking or an uphill walk. But a large part of her wanted to push back along the queue for the safety of the dodgems.

She was only here for her boyfriend, who she hadn’t known long, and was it fair of him to judge her, and would it matter if he did, and did she especially like him anyway?

She closed her eyes and everything disappeared.