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Triggers by Camy

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Triggers by Camy


"...and so I expect your stories to be on my desk by the end of term," McAlister said. "And don't forget the trigger warning list. The faculty consider it's very important." He rubbed his hands in self congratulatory glee at making it through his first lecture unscathed, then coughed to bring us back from what I imagined he thought of as our youthful flights of fancy. Infact, I was somewhat shell shocked and raised my hand.

"Any questions, class?" He said, looking anywhere but at me. I admit I'm a troublemaker, but this... this was several steps beyond the pale.

McAlister was studiously looking at the Goths' enclave—two desks pushed together surrounded by four boys and a girl with matching long black hair and eyeliner—when I pushed my chair back and got to my feet.

"Sir?" I said.

McAlister licked his lips, turned to face me, and sighed. "Yes?"

Having got everyone's attention I sat back down, picked up the print out of the 'triggers' and waved it in the air. "Just to clarify, "Sir. You said that a good short story in based on character, plot, conflict, setting and theme?"

"I did, yes." McAlister said.

"And we have to warn people at the beginning if we're using anything on this list?" I said, waving the list again.



The class laughed until McAlister glared at them all. Then he turned back to me. "I beg your pardon?"

"Bollocks, Sir. Bollocks and Blackface are not on the list, so I guess it's okay if my story revolves around them?" I said. "Otherwise, the trigger warnings at the front will ruin any tension I manage to build up.

"I mean, if Stephen King had had to warn readers of The Shining that Jack Torrance was an alcoholic, and that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ would end up committing murder, it'd be a bit of a letdown, wouldn't it, Sir? Loads of triggers in The Shining, Sir. There's alcoholism, bullying, child abuse, mental illness, murder, and I bet we could find a lot more on the list."

"What exactly is your point?" McAlister said, glowering at me.

"I suppose it's that...."

The bell rang for the end of the lecture. Led by the Goths, who had their enclave nearest the exit, the students left the hall at a rate of knots.

"You're a bastard." McAlister said, closing the door, pulling down the blind, and perching on the Goths' enclave.

"Yeah, I know," I said. "Sorry. I arrived early so I thought I'd take in your lecture, which was, all in all, brilliant. But you have to admit," I wafted the list at him again, "this is getting well beyond the pale."

"Yeah, but what to do? Remember what Orwell said in 1984?"

"Umm... you're the scholar. What did Orwell say?"

"'Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.'" He started straightening  chairs, so I got up to help him. Finally, he collected his briefcase from next to the white board and met me by the door. "Lunch?"

"Absolutely, sweetheart," I said, as I pulled him into a hug and gave him a kiss, then opened the door and took my husband to a surprise lunch party. He hates surprises!




An Emu's rant.

It's my belief that the world is going up its own arse. In the UK they have taken a load of comedy off the air because it's 'insensitive' and might upset someone. 'Gone With The Wind' has gone, too. Along with a plethora of statues of once famous, but now infamous, people.

You can't rewrite history, but you can make changes in the here and now, and  those I am all in favour of... PROVIDED sanity remains!

Did you know there are now 58 gender options on Facebook? 58! Insanity! As, I think, are triggers. We're getting so bloody woke we're almost comatose.

That's my rant over. Below is The List of triggers mentioned in the story. Read it and weep.




List of Triggers.




Animal cruelty or animal death



Bi erasure





Child Abuse


death of a prominent character

deceased ** family member


domestic abuse

Drug Addiction

eating disorder

Fat phobic / shaming




Hate Group







Medical Procedures

mental illness

mention/description of past trauma (indicate what in parentheses)




non-consensual (say what in parentheses)




Racist language / imagery / slurs

religious extremism

religious shaming


Sexaul Assault (Flashback where character relives/remembers)

Sexual Assault (character recounts or retells past)

Sexual Assault (detailed description of past)

Sexual Assault (detailed desription on page)

Sexual Assault (occurs off page during story)

Sexual Assault (references to in past)

slavery/human trafficking



suicidal ideation



Trans-hate / transmisogyny


workplace harrassment

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