Do Everything Your Mama Said Not To

Competition Ten Winning Story: Do Everything Your Mama Said Not To by

            “Don’t slouch, sit nice”


Sprawl over the hot bonnet of his American muscle. Lounge across the back seats of the Greyhound to anywhere, his hand travelling, thighs shakier than your resolve. Flop into motel beds, use up all the ice, finger-write the names of all the destinations through the sweat on his chest.


            “Don’t wear that, it’s tarty


Swathe napkins, takeout cups and his shivering belly in bold crimson lip-prints. Sport too much mascara, a diamond in your bellybutton, a cupid tattoo on your ankle. Dress in crop tops and blue jeans cut high and tight, feel the sear of his gaze tan your skin when you stretch.


            “Don’t shout, speak nice


Roar at a world that wants you muted, acquiescent. Holler at the blur of him on the field, the grin he sends past the bouncy blondes crooning and swishing their feathers. Scream into the sun-softened leather of the Mustang’s seat when his fingers find the core of you.


            Don’t daydream, stay focussed.”


Fantasise about his hard hands on your face, his urgent kisses. Imagine the burn of his tongue down your hip, under the waistband of your Wonder Woman panties. Envisage his waking smile, the promise of his blue eyes, the way you mould perfectly into his sleeping curve.


            “Don’t run, walk nice


Race from the suffocation, the limitations of a picket fenced, tree lined town. Barrel down scorched sands, screeching like gulls and roll in silken dunes. Hurry to the pull-down in the beat-up RV you found on Craigslist, lick salt from his creases, turn the sheets to beach.


            Don’t do it.”


Do it all. Do it hard and fast and with every molecule of your heart, every sliver of your soul. Do it like there’s no tomorrow – and when there is – do it with renewed purpose.





JP Relph is a working-class Cumbrian who grew up just across the border in Scotland. Her writing journey began in 2021 with Writers HQ and is mostly hindered by four cats and aided by copious tea. She loves zombies, murder programmes, dinosaurs and Marvel. A forensic science degree and a passion for microbes, insects and botany also motivate her words, which can be found in The Fantastic Other, Splonk, Quill & Crow, Molotov Cocktail and others.



Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash


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2 thoughts on “Competition Ten Winning Story: Do Everything Your Mama Said Not To”

  1. Congrats, JP Relph, for winning the contest. Such a fabulous piece. The details, the way it made me feel, evoking memories of rebellion and shouting, No! Empowering from the get-go.
    Isabelle B.L

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