Friday, 20 July 2012

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Initiation" by Helen Pizzey


My brother hadn’t noticed the adder approaching, slithering along the stone ledge of the cattle trough, when he threw me in. Laughing he left me drowning, fighting water and snake. On the day I started convent school, I stood shivering in grey serge and swamped in a felt hat I wished would float right off my head. We learned about evil and baptism, and it came as no great surprise to hear that a snake would always be out to get me.

Helen Pizzey

"Initiation" last appeared in Leaf Writers' Magazine 2 (Autumn 2010). Pizzey is Assistant Editor at PURBECK! magazine and appears in the anthology, This Line Is Not for Turning: Contemporary British Prose Poetry (ed. Jane Monson, Cinnamon, 2011), among other journals and anthologies in the UK and US. She received her MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University in 2005. 


Anonymous said...

Love this. The connection between good and evil, snake and water metaphors, feeling of fear and the unknown. All good, good stuff. Thanks!

Helen Pizzey said...

Thanks, Particia Ann. Am also looking out for more of your work to enjoy commenting on. Best wishes.

BritPaige13 said...

Great metaphors. I enjoyed this well written short. Very nicely done.

Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful revisiting of themes in this very short piece. I think it works so well because of these recurring ideas. There is the idea of being restricted or overwhelmed either literally by water, or by using that imagery: “he left me drowning, fighting water”, “swamped in a felt hat I wished would float right off my head”, “We learned about evil and baptism”. The snake and the comparison to religion are also excellently drawn. Fantastic for such a short piece of writing. I think that the lines “Laughing he left me drowning” and “We learned about evil and baptism” are particularly poignant, and together give a sense of something much larger.