Bang Bang You’re Not Dead

When I was eight years old, my sister shot me. Looking at those words back now in black and white on a page it sounds all rather dramatic and 999 numbers panic-punched into the phone, but the incident was nothing, not really. My sister was twelve and pissed off with me, as almost-teenagers often are if they have an annoying eight year old sister. At least I think I was eight; I can’t really remember because what happened wasn’t a thing of great consequence at the time. I’ve not bothered recalling much detail.

Okay, my sister shot me with an air gun and that’s quite bad, the air pellet pinging off my belly leaving a small painful circle of cherry pink in its wake, but the mark vanished soon enough. No harm done. It happened in a 1970s summer during the long boring school holidays in a village in Lancashire on the urban/rural cusp; holiday clubs and courses for children to keep them amused were seen as exotic and a bit weird back then, so what else were you supposed to do with your time except practice your shooting? WELL?

I don’t think any of the children up my street here on Merseyside shoot their siblings, last summer they were more into the loom band thing, plastic circles spillages scattering the pavement in front of the house like multi-coloured ringworm. Young people today; they don’t know how to live, clearly.

cath bore

A more romantic interpretation of sisterhood can be found in the book Sisters Born, Sisters Found (Wordforest). I have an essay in it (my essay contains no shootings, sorry).



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