The Tiktaalik crawling from sea to land, 375 million years ago.
Dad’s fashion sense.
The kind nurse sharing Mum’s name.
The one sperm in millions that swims through cervical mucus, surviving white blood cell attacks, reaches the correct fallopian tube, finds the egg, breaks through the cumulus oophorus and outer membrane and merges with the nuclei.
That egg implanting.
Sitting next to the nerdy-looking kid at St Thomas’ Primary who became my BFF.
Gene mutations turning a cell abnormal.
The National Lottery. It could be you.
Spin of the wheel.
The elongated S my bicycle slithered before hitting the kerb, sending me flying.
My head striking the concrete at an angle that meant the neck fracture wasn’t fatal.
The immature cell growing, dividing, forming a mass.
Spotting that tiny newspaper ad for the science teacher vacancy.
Ignoring the small, white, raised patch underneath my tongue.
The taxi being eleven minutes, thirty-two seconds late because of traffic so that when I walked into the bar I also walked into you.
Simultaneous glances meeting.
The colour of your eyes.
Your bedsit being on my bus route home.
‘You were made for me,’ playing on the hospital radio.
Cells breaking away to travel through the lymphatic system.
The plot of the first film we watched when you held my hand.
Gene mutations making cells resistant.
My iPod shuffling to our song.
The speech my best man gave.
Cloud formations, like manifestations of time slipping through the sky.
Waves of pain.
Not being chosen for the experimental treatment.
Waves of relief.
The beauty of stillness.
Born and brought up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Richard Hooton studied English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton before becoming a journalist and communications officer. He has had numerous short stories published and has been placed or listed in various competitions, including winning contests run by Segora, Artificium Magazine, Henshaw Press, Evesham Festival of Words and the Charroux Prize for Short Fiction. Richard lives in Mossley, near Manchester, and is a member of Mossley Writer’s Group and Manchester Writer’s Group.
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