Flash Fiction

The Late September Dogs by Rebecca Jessen

UntitledRebecca Jessen lives in Toowoomba with her two cacti. She is the winner of the 2013 Queensland Literary Award for Best Emerging Author for her verse novel Gap. In 2012 Rebecca won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. Rebecca’s writing has been published in The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, Stilts, Scum Mag and Verity La. Rebecca’s verse novel Gap is out now through University of Queensland Press. She is the recipient of an AMP Tomorrow Maker grant.


The Late September Dogs

low mist hanging off a high mountain. driving cars worth more than your self esteem. a twenty-nine dollar tax return that feels both like a gift and a joke. waiting two hours for five minutes. leaving with your fifth K10 questionnaire in as many years. hopelessness is always high. nervousness is mostly circumstantial. lying face down in your IKEA furnished study. listening to a Melissa Etheridge LP as old as you. feeling both like an old soul and too young to know what life really is. scoring yourself thirty-five out of fifty on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. half listening to your caseworker who is not a psychologist. almost believing when she says you eat and sleep too regularly to qualify as depressed. what you have is chronic low mood. there’s not much help or hope for people like you. sorry kid. not everyone can be happy. here take some vitamins. ignoring text messages from the government. asking your opinion on a safe night out. crying for no reason. listening to the same Melissa Etheridge song on repeat for two hours. crying for no reason. sorry kid. there’s not much help for people like you.