In my mother’s room there is a single-bar electric fire. I’ve plugged it in but the element isn’t glowing red. I push my fingers through the silver grill. I sense that this is wrong but my curiosity is stronger than prohibition. I want to see if the fire is really coming on.
I’m thrown across the room onto my parents’ bed. I’m too shocked to cry. My arm has a sick, rubber feeling – as if it belongs to a stranger. I decide not to tell anyone.