Graham Clifford


When she was at school no one looked at her so much that she popped out of existence. It was warm
there. With lots of advice played on a loop and elevator music.

Meanwhile, she had left a vacuum where she had been. This drew much attention and soon had holy
water flicked into it, thermometers and barometers and Geiger counters dangled into it. Expert tasters
stuck their tongues into it. A psychic tried to bend it.

Meanwhile, the rest of class were barely considered, only being asked about what it was like being sat
next to the vacuum, whether it smelt, if it moved and who was to blame.

They asked who had been there, before the vacuum. No one could remember. One by one, all the
children joined the girl out of existence as they were surplus to the prevailing narrative.

Out of existence, they clubbed together to formulate a problem, solve it and move on. They heard the
elevator music but also noticed a fishy smell. Perhaps they would have included the girl but she had
grown in confidence and had other ideas.


Graham Clifford was born in Portsmouth, grew up in Wiltshire and lives in London with his partner and two daughters. His pamphlet, Welcome Back to the Country, and full collection, The Hitting Game are published by Seren. His pamphlet collection, Computer Generated Crash Test Dummies is published by The Black Light Engine Room, and his collection, Well, is published by Against The Grain. His fifth collection, In Charge of the Gun, is published by the Black Light Engine Room.