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A Vicious Cycle

Fiction

Issue No. 11

Evan Lavender-Smith

Fiction

Issue No. 11

I have seen the bumper stickers on the bumper of your Toyota Prius therefore I have induced that you believe you are working here to make...

Fiction

January 2020

frequently asked questions about your craniotomy

Mary South

Fiction

January 2020

If you’re reading this page, chances are you’ve recently heard that you need to have a craniotomy. Try not to...

Fiction

December 2019

The Bad Brother

Rita Bullwinkel

Fiction

December 2019

We were a committee of three brothers, but one of us was bad. Bad in the sense that one...

Fiction

October 2019

Symmetry of Provocation

Vi Khi Nao

Fiction

October 2019

She saw her father at Smith’s. By accident. She was paying the heat bill. After paying the heat bill,...

Fiction

July 2019

Exquisite Mariposa

FIONA ALISON DUNCAN

Fiction

July 2019

I broke three contracts in 2016. The first was verbal, a monogamy clause. But he was fucking around too,...

Fiction

Issue No. 25

Thursday

Patrícia Portela

TR. Rahul Bery

Fiction

Issue No. 25

‘Not my name. I live on the streets of an era in which saying one’s name is a cause...

The Collection

Fiction

May 2019

Nina Leger

TR. Laura Francis

Fiction

May 2019

She slides it into her mouth.   She lets it grow heavy, take on warmth, breadth and shape, push against her palate, weigh upon...
Elia was going to be posted to Iraq next month to work for Doctors Without Borders and this evening had turned partly into his Goodbye Party Currently he was talking about a murder by ‘defenestration’ – there was the murder and then there was the word His way of telling the story was staled with rehearsal, I suspected it was his latest silence filler and we were not witnessing the debut performance John recalling enough of his lone semester at Institut Francais cut in with, ‘oh of course la fenetre! It makes parfait sense’ while swirling his wine glass – a parody of himself It was hard to believe that I had once had a crush on him A while back he told me that he was ‘so jealous’ of me being ‘SO unencumbered by the history of art’, of my ‘authentic atavism’ in relation to my short videos The more time passed the more grating I found that comment His paintings made me think that he was just another person stuck in competition with Rembrandt, propelled by ego and a love of sepia Under his leadership the conversation moved on to the origin of the word ‘essay’ and the current state of the form Sibs walked in with June He had a moustache and a goatee but his wiry pube-beard was better suited to a close stubble or to being clean-shaven He said that he was ignoring us for the past couple of weeks because he had been on a ‘mental health break’ He was freshly out of rehab where he had been sent after spending three days high and drunk and excited The morass of apparent laziness and irresponsibility that rose to the surface suppressed any real concern that anyone but his long-suffering mother could muster for him Elia and John started playing chess on an ornamental set I was thinking of leaving Earlier in the evening this party and my life had seemed full of possibility Now, neither did I’d felt on the verge of something momentous, a vague invincibility but it was fast dissipating along

Prize Entry

April 2019

Manholes

Salma Ahmad

Prize Entry

April 2019

Elia was going to be posted to Iraq next month to work for Doctors Without Borders and this evening...

Prize Winner

Issue No. 26

At the Heart of Things

Vanessa Onwuemezi

Prize Winner

Issue No. 26

there is no meaning. Hanging a picture on the wall I           give           a little too much force to my...

‘I’m sorry,’ I say, looking straight into the gold flecked eyes, ‘I can’t see another way’ The round eyes blink brightly back I turn on the hot tap above the small white bath, hygienic and functional like everything else in here There’s a red sign above the taps, with a warning about the scorching water Steam rises instantly from the bath, and I move to the toilet to wait I wonder, briefly, if I can hide her in my little room down the corridor But no, she’d be found straight away: they mop the rooms every day Besides, there would be nowhere to hide: bare lino under the single bed, and then there’s just the little lockable set of drawers, pine-veneer desk, plastic chair The walls are painted magnolia: there’s not even wallpaper to hide behind And even if I could squeeze her into one of the drawers, she’d probably suffocate I know they do their best to make it homely in here, but it’s nowhere near Bile rises in my throat when I think of the thick carpets and rugs I left behind Laying as still as I could on the luxury pile, not daring to move, hoping this would make him stop Sometimes it worked, but usually he won: got me moving again, a kick in the soft belly fat, a boiling spoon to the flabby upper arm   I inhale the steam deeply now, looking down at the exceptional pigeon cradled in my palms She’s a stunner, a certain win I feel the quality of her down against my skin, she is oiled all over I gently test the fineness of the bones, the strength of the frame, the vibrating breast muscles, the deep throat Perfect balance She was always my favourite and he knew it He said it wasn’t right to have preferences: that the birds would pick up on it and stop coming home Back then, he was still teaching me: he’d take me to all the shows, even the big one with the starry midnight carpet, crimson drapes and dazzling stage My crushed velvet dress
Homing

Prize Entry

April 2019

Rachel Bower


 

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