‘Photocopy of a Snapshot in the Mirror Frame’ [published at Free Verse Revolution]

My piece ‘Photocopy of a Snapshot in the Mirror Frame’ (and two other prose/poetry pieces) are featured in this edition of the excellent Free Verse Revolution magazine. This piece, as with all my work to some or no small extent, is based on both a true story and a real photocopy of a snapshot in the mirror frame.

It is a free to download literary magazine or a pay as you please. It’s a great read and I am honoured to be among some renowned and distinguished writers such as Ingrid B (https://experimentsinfiction.com) and Gabriela Marie Milton (https://shortprose.blog)

Issue II of Free Verse Revolution is available to download today!

HERE https://freeverserevolution.com/2021/06/15/issue-ii-released/

Many thanks to the editor, Kristiana Reed for her work and support.


I cut Lillian’s hair every twelfth week, blowdry it every sixth. It grows. I cut it. I dry it. It has become grey by increments; city pigeon to autumn noon, fading print to cigarette ash. Each accretion of tone slowly highlighting further her pink brittle cheeks, the ancient pools of her eyes. She wears it to her shoulder blades, without layers. She drops a parting in on the left. She favours the front edge, from collarbone to breastbone, softened.

In summer she arrives like the girl she still fancies herself sometimes to be, with it gathered in a bun and stuck with a pencil. In winter she leaves with it beneath a tweed scarf like the Queen. She likes it smoothed out with a large round bristle brush. It takes time, but a soothing rhythm can be found within the arid blast of air and the long drawn down strokes of the brush, the finger twirls of hair in and out of loose knots and, of course, within the trill of her birdlike voice.

She told me more than once that I reminded her of her first lover, a youth named Stewart who, shortly after they had met, plummeted from a 1940s sky in a burning fighter plane somewhere off the coast of Dover in a dogfight. One day she brought in a photocopy of a snapshot of a young and pale airman, his RAF cap sat at a jaunty angle. I felt the heat and the sickening sensation of falling.

I have lost count of the times that confused eyes have been drawn toward this photocopy of a snapshot in the mirror frame, and the question asked, is that you?

23 thoughts on “‘Photocopy of a Snapshot in the Mirror Frame’ [published at Free Verse Revolution]

  1. I love a lyrical piece of short prose or flash fiction, Nick, and your tale delivers some eye-catching imagery. References to times of the past make the historical element especially interesting.
    Congratulations on the publication! I am delighted to be part of this issue with you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, I love this story. Framed so beautifully with the description of Lillian’s hair and customer questions. Pun not intended, but hey, it works! Congrats on the publication – I just downloaded it from Ingrid’s site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terveen. The first time I saw the image from a short distance even I had to wonder if it was me! It was quite a dizzying experience. As the years have passed I look less like he and he looks less like me! But there is something…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on having this piece in print, Nick. Like all of your writing, it’s so vivid and evocative. In a few paragraphs you have made me care deeply for Lillian with “her pink brittle cheeks” and “ancient pools of her eyes.”


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