Less than Frank

Bayveen O’Connell


Trespass through the fibers of me. Take a red pen and scissors to my diary. Blot out all mention of first blood, boys, and breasts. Cut around my questioning and criticism, and string me up in a chain of dancing paper dolls: a prattling innocent Everygirl. Show your me to the world. Make me the poster girl for atrocity. Invite everyone into versions of my head, sell them tickets to come see my bed. Put me on the middle school curriculum: primary source, first person, non-fiction. Watch while publishers scramble to put more words in my mouth or pull them out again in strange acts of lexical dentistry. Make me a best-seller. Form my name on everyone’s lips. And don’t worry about me turning up with my own red pen to carve out any recognizable slivers of myself.


Anne XXX

Bayveen O'Connell has words in Fractured Lit, Janus Literary, Bending Genres, The Forge Lit, Splonk, the 2021 Micro Madness National Flash Fiction Day NZ, the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, 2019 & 2020 National Flash Fiction Day, Flood, and others. She came third in the Janus Literary Spring Story Prize 2021, and received a Best Microfiction nomination in 2019. She lives in Dublin and is inspired by myth, history and folklore.