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I met Ryan on Tinder He only had one photograph of himself on his profile, edited with a grainy filter I thought he looked alright I didn’t have much in the way of standards My own picture wasn’t even really me; it was another lanky brunette that I’d found online, her face turned away from the camera My bio was Tinderloin, after my favourite cut We met in The Crown and Sceptre I ordered two wild boar sausages with mash and caramelised onion gravy Ryan was older than me by eleven years He worked for a cab service, picking up the phone His hands were nice and thick, a good ratio of muscle to fat, and he’d crack his knuckles when there was a lull in conversation, or smooth out a napkin with his palms When I told him about Papa’s shop he joked that he was a vegetarian I raised my eyebrows and smiled; I’d already overheard him order the roast chicken at the bar   I went back to his after He lived in his grandparents’ garage There was an electric heater groaning in the corner, and the corrugated iron door gave the place an industrial look I felt at home in there; it reminded me of the shop in a way A few carcasses wouldn’t have looked so out of place, hung up next to his book shelf   When I slept with Ryan that first time I bled through the sheets I was sixteen and I’d done my waiting   A virgin then, are you? he’d said   I’d just looked at him There wasn’t much point in lying The blood had dried fast between my thighs and matted up my pubic hair, so the skin there pulled tight when I shuffled off the bed The whole garage smelt of copper, like after opening a fresh pig     I spent the next evening in the back of the shop with Papa, sawing a few lambs down into primals We had Radio 4 on in the background Papa likes The Archers so much he has the theme tune as his ring tone If I speak during it
Tinderloin

Prize Entry

April 2019

Saba Sams

Fiction

March 2019

Oval

Elvia Wilk

Fiction

March 2019

The gym was crowded, so crowded there was a line forming at the showers, so many white bodies so...

Fiction

Issue No. 24

What Everybody Knows

Nael Eltoukhy

TR. Robin Moger

Fiction

Issue No. 24

I’m a woman who’s been through terrible trauma. I’m a woman whose first husband committed suicide, and whose second...

Fiction

Issue No. 24

Vashti

Zakia Uddin

Fiction

Issue No. 24

I met John at the dance summer school. He was standing at the lower set of doors towards the...

Fiction

December 2018

Feebleminded

Ariana Harwicz

TR. CAROLINA ORLOFF

TR. Annie McDermott

Fiction

December 2018

WHISKY WITH MOTHER as the electric blue fades into the small hours and now, a long way from home,...

Fiction

August 2018

RETRIEVALS

Edward Herring

Fiction

August 2018

  About ‘Retrievals’:   I like to hear writing that is made out loud. Words vibrate in the air...

The Kid

Fiction

July 2018

Michelle Steinbeck

TR. Jen Calleja

Fiction

July 2018

There’s a child in the yard, its shoes flash every time it takes a step.   It carefully places one foot in front of...

Fiction

June 2018

They keep killing us

Sergio Loo

TR. Annie McDermott

Fiction

June 2018

They stuck photocopies in the urinals again and again we covered them in our names. Sheets of paper advising...

Fiction

Issue No. 22

Green_fields

Maria Hummer

Fiction

Issue No. 22

We were told to pay attention to things that were different, and it seemed to me that sex was...

Self-Improvement

Fiction

May 2018

Sophie Mackintosh

Fiction

May 2018

I had been sent back from the city in disgrace, back to my parents’ house in the country. It was a traumatic experience. Though...

 

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