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Saba Sams
Saba Sams is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Her short stories have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Litro, Forge Literary Magazine, The Manchester Reviewand others.

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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


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