Thomas Lee Wharton


Photo by Jon Harley



I didn’t expect salt water to taste so salty. I opened and closed my mouth, like the fish I shrieked away from. Others swam effortlessly, moving with the tide, their bodies a wave. My mother couldn’t swim. She floated, limbs splayed like a starfish. The sun was high. She was going to burn.



The sun scorched the earth and their lips were aflame with cigarette smoke. They seemed like a mirage; hazy and out of reach. My black tights grew hotter. They glanced at the tights, then at each other, then at the tights again. I fidgeted under their gaze. The scratches and flea bites were beginning to itch.



Hidden behind doors. The house was blue with the curtains drawn and the television on standby and his heavy body asleep on the couch. I tried to drift through as if carried on the wind which whistled out of the fireplace and under the window panes. With one hand on my stomach, the other covering my mouth, I imagined the life to be.


Thomas Lee Wharton is a Newcastle-based MA in Creative Writing student. As a recent graduate, this is Thomas’ first publication. Most commonly writing in prose, and recently dabbling with poetry, Thomas aims to experiment with different genres and forms of writing. At the moment, Thomas’ most recent ventures are pieces centred around memory and how it manifests in our imagination and writing.

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