Today I fill my flask with wakefulness. I add a small measure of ready-to-face the world. Then I screw the lid on tight, gaze at it for a while and take myself back to bed for the day.
Tomorrow I shall fill my flask with all the words that I have ever written. I want to keep them alive forever, so I shall add the beating heart of a small creature, perhaps a mouse or frog.
Every day I fill my fiction with sentences. I fill out my flesh with food. I fill and fill and fill until I can fill no more. And then I have to accept the flask-chilling reality that none of these contents will stay warm for ever.
Pauline Masurel's short story Trick or Treat? was broadcast on BBC Radios Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire on Upload in November 2023. You can listen to the programme on BBC Sounds.
The prose poem Her Husband was a runner-up in Gloucestershire Writers' Network 2023 competition and she read with other winners and runners-up at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2023. It was also published in the competition anthology, Journeys.
I Found Myself Lost is one of seventy-five prize-winning flash fictions in the anthology Fuel, which was published in February 2023 to raise money for charities fighting fuel poverty.