When Margie is pressed to share a secret at the annual office retreat, she hesitates, hoping lunch will be announced. It’s been a long morning and they’re all hungry.
C’mon Margie, they urge. We’ve all shared our secrets so it’s only fair you share yours. How will we bond if we don’t share secrets?
Reluctantly, in her quiet shy voice, Margie tells them that she’d once — long ago, much earlier in her life — been a caribou. Before that, a unicorn.
Silence falls on the group.
A long-forgotten but oh so familiar feeling sweeps over Margie. Her head goes up, her nostrils flare. She smells danger.
She knows what they are thinking: Meat.
“Secret” first appeared in Cafe Irreal, Summer, 2017
IMAGE: Frida Kahlo – “The Wounded Deer”, 1946, Self-portrait, oil on masonite, 22.4 x 30 cm. Collection of Carolyn Farb, Houston, Texas
Originally from England, Susi Lovell worked her way around the world — as stablehand, secretary, computer programmer, chambermaid, market researcher, orange and tomato picker, ski bum — before settling in Montreal. A movement artist-educator, Susi started writing fiction after a spell writing on dance for the Montreal Gazette. Her stories have appeared in The New Quarterly, The Stand, Grain, Fiddlehead, Kudzu Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is currently working on her first novel.