‘Control’

There were many parts of Rosa that acted outside of her direct control and she would watch from somewhere above or outside while they got on with it. Most of the time they just responded to whoever was in the room, but occasionally one took the initiative and went out on a limb, so to speak.

Part of the current Mash Stories competition, Control contains the three necessary key words, ankle, fashion, and criminal, and opens a small window on the world of a woman or girl victim of abuse. The story draws on recent events in Yorkshire, UK where child victims of sexual exploitation were sometimes themselves criminalised and returned to their abusers, and reflects the dissociative impact of sustained trauma such that the prose is also detached and relies on implication and inference for its impact.

Probably not a story to enjoy, as such, but I hope it has meaning and does not betray the victims of this appalling crime.

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