The Art Of Escape

I choose the thickest vein.

I tighten the tourniquet. It bulges delightfully.

Lights flicker as the 9:30 tube races overhead.


I have to wait for it to pass.

The needle pierces flesh, I can feel the blocking of receptors.

I am unnamed. And Manderley comes rushing into my head.


I stop at the gate.

I try to open it, and fail. I try again and fail.

Then I pass through anyway.


The driveway is blood-rhododendrons

And mad housekeepers.

They move but do not touch. They never touch.


I have come to meet the oracle –

To find out where I’m going, why, and who for.



Aqsa Shaheen Ahmed is a third year English student at King’s College, London

Burning Embers by Linda Langerak


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I RISE Magazine is an online platform dedicated to showcasing the stories, talents and trials of women of colour and non-binary people of colour in educational institutions. Our aim is to collectively represent, lead the way and inspire ourselves and future generations.

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