DIVISION • by Oonah V Joslin

I reflected, how strange… You would never think of going through another’s possessions. Death changes that. Some of mother’s books were — unexpected. Asimov, yes, and Tolkien, but Gore Vidal? How little we know.

I opened the pages of her Bible and pressed flowers she had plucked from her springs and summers wreathed the floor. A secret garden. Inside the cover I found the note and a photograph.

I knew that baby face. I unfolded the yellowed paper and read the faded blue ink.

‘Dear Jon and Elizabeth,
So sorry for your loss. You must cherish the other twin enough for…’

Twin… twin…? Yes, I knew that baby face but it was not mine. The photograph had been cut down the middle. This fragile past divided my being. What had been her name? How long had she lived? Would she still have looked like me? So many questions.

How little we know. My reflections would never be the same again.

Oonah V Joslin lives in Northumberland, England. Winner of the Micro Horror Trophy 2007. Most read in EDF, Jan 2008. Guest judge in the Shine Journal 2008 Poetry Competition. She has had work published in Bewildering Stories, Twisted Tongue 8 & 9, Static Movement, and 13 Human Souls. She has work coming up in The Linnet”s Wings, The Ranfurly Review and Boston Literary Magazine. You can link to work, follow up-dates and contact Oonah at www.writewords.org.uk/oonah/.

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Every Day Fiction

  • I loved the idea of the secret garden falling out of the book.

  • Avis Hickman-Gibb

    Lovely stuff Oonah. What a revelation.

  • John Allen

    Wonderful writing, great imagery – that cut photograph!

  • gay

    Life shifts and everything is different. Love the images.

  • I loved the carefully chosen images, particularly the flowers falling from the Bible.

  • Great story.

  • See now, that is a superb juxtaposition- the dead flowers falling from the Bible and the picture of the lost twin in the same book. Who knew you could put foreshadowing into a piece that compact? Very nice.

  • jennifer walmsley

    Lovely, Oonah. So much told in so little words.


  • kcball


    Beautiful. It struck a chord with me.


  • Remarkably fine story, Oonah. Discovering when I was in my 30s that my brother was adopted caused just as great a shock to me. Can’t wait to read more–and I think one’s coming up in Bewildering Stories next month.

  • Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story and that it struck a chord or two.

    Thank you Virginia for the compliment. 🙂

    And yes, Walt. I was in the BwS Quarterly Review with two stories last week – see this forum here or my blogsite/website. And I have a poem there next week.

  • Marie

    My goodness, that gave me goosebumps.

  • celeste Goschen

    Beautifully crafted as ever, Oonah.

  • Loved this story. You’ve thrown open a whole history with a handful of words.

  • Thank you for commenting so kindly, Marie, Celeste and Rumjum. ‘Beautifully crafted’ is a very great compliment, much appreciated 🙂

  • Yet another brilliant flash, Oonah.

  • Oh, Oohah! You are the Flash Queen.
    This story packed a punch in a tiny amount of space–Loved it!!


  • sarah ann watts

    Love this story!


  • Thank you so much. The Flash Queen, eh? I ‘d love that title! 🙂