After dark, when the lights are no longer illuminating, the world sleeps – and the world dreams. Some are good dreams, ones that leave a smile on waking, others though, well they are the ones that leave an indelible mark on us all. These are ones that, within our subconscious, we do not remember or recall in the waking hours – but instead are assailed by them when we close our eyes and give ourselves up to sleep.Continue reading “Sweet Dreams by Stephen Taylor”
A clutter of stray cats roams the streets at night, eating corpses. Least that’s what they say. The clutter don’t make the corpses neither; they just sort of clean them up for us. Course, technically speaking, they’re a destruction of cats, seeing as how they’re wild. But clutter sounds better. Besides, all cats are wild no matter how fat and lazy and orange they might pretend to be. Cats are more like us than we care to admit. Only two animals who regularly practice sadism are us and the kitty cats. Hell, they even domesticated themselves just like we did. But even after all these thousands of years, they’re still creatures of the night. Just like us. Just like that Laura Branigan song. And just like the world.Continue reading “Kitty Cat Man by Erik Sorensen”
Huddled in the dark, the three children shook at the sight of the black horse. It’s head, bashed in from madness, left a bloody smear along the splintered barn wall. It’s body was too still on the dusty floor. For Walter, the blond-haired boy of four, it was just a rigid, mountainous shadow. It frightened him to watch the beast, the devil and his illness finally take hold of the animal. The silence that followed that was unbearable, unclear. Walter felt that something was very wrong but his innocence would not allow him to understand the stillness of the mare. As his unease grew, consuming his little heart, he buried his head into his older sister’s arms for relief.Continue reading “George and the Horse by Jazeen Hollings”
He couldn’t remember much, not even his own name, but what he could recall from the previous evenings jaunt with the ever elusive they, the them that had occupied his thoughts for as long as he could remember, came in silent camera flashes that appeared somewhere behind his eyes; the men in the masks and all the pretty butterflies floating in silent dances that tickled his face and arms.Continue reading “The Truth Will Set You Free by Alex Sinclair”
“Verminous dole scrounging deadbeats poetically whingeing that’s all it is, lamenting wistfully about the plight of their work-shy genes. The Celtic curse so it is, forever waxing philosophical about being a shite for brains’ pisshead.”
He stops. He has run away with himself and he can’t remember what he was talking about.
Packy is barely cognizant of where he is. He exists in half dream, half myth.Continue reading “Paraffin Lamp by Alex Sinclair – Warning – strong language and content that some readers will find upsetting”
I didn’t think I would remember you.
I thought when the world changed I would change with it. And on the outside, at least, I did. Here I am, after all, in my Balenciaga coat and Jimmy Choos, striding along past ranks of fresh-built luxury apartments. Queen of the World. Only I made a mistake, top of my long, lifetime list, because inside I stayed the same. I remember how things were before. I remember every day of your life I was part of.
Bethany Frances Tate. My daughter.Continue reading “Unfinished Business by Rose Banks”
Let me tell you the procedure. We will never meet. Everything is anonymous. We are The Parachute Art Installation Company against Deformity and Disfigurement. You won’t find us on any search engine, but we span the globe. We invade flats, skyscrapers, parks, beaches, motorways, stadiums, places of worship and pounce on unsuspecting Victims who we have painstakingly monitored. We strike against individuals from all strata of society that are deemed physically repugnant.Continue reading “Parachutes at Night by Tim Frank”
“Men are gold, and women are white cloth. Gold, once sullied, can be cleaned and polished, while white cloth, once soiled and torn, can never be clean again.”
Khmer proverbContinue reading “Haunt Me Like You Hate Me by Alex Sinclair”
Rata baboon-leered as the twenty stone clown started to sweat, the meth ravaged copper coloured flesh peeling back from his skull, rubberized dead slug lips baring his yellowed teeth.Continue reading “The Child of Smoke by Alex Sinclair”
After my husband died I gained a friend, Kafka is his name. One would suppose that having a cockroach is somewhat akin to having lice or genital crabs, a tabooed parasite that will ultimately tarnish a lady’s reputation and habits if discovered, but Kafka is a special kind of companion. His favourite place is atop the kitchen radio where he habitually gyrates to Jazz FM in the early hours of the morning, watching me drink cheap Chardonnay and speaking to me reassuringly in the sweet-butter voice of Jeremy Irons. Before I was enlightened to his more practical uses, I admittedly went through a spell of being rather ruthless; I wanted to kill him, but in the most decent, kindest way for everyone involved. So, naturally, I concluded the obvious. Flushing. Yes, flushing him down the toilet in a vortex, much like a flume at Water World except with feces and used tampons at the end, a cockroach’s paradise. So I tried. I dutifully dropped him in the toilet and flushed, watching rather sadly as he spun. But the little chap just coughed, spluttered softly, and crawled back up. I discovered after that they can live for up to a week without their head, a month without food, and can hold their breath for forty minutes at a time; a species that would undoubtedly survive an apocalypse. They are resilient, gregarious creatures. So of course, in time, Kafka soon had a friend, a wife perhaps, and spawned a tribe of lovers and cousins and acquaintances and one-night-stands. I began to realise Kafka’s army were quite efficient at cleaning up my often neglected messes. Far more so than my old Henry Hoover friend, with his can-do eyes and pleasing suction trunk, that now just sits looking forlorn, gathering dust. Cockroaches eat crumbs, dust, hair, sewage, decaying matter, and even each other; they are the perfect companions to a less than perfect housewife. Someone like me needs a helping hand once in a while. Try as I might I can never keep on top of the housework for long, being too easily lured by afternoon wine and my artistic pursuits. George, my late husband, used to (rather too sternly, if I do say so) remind me to ‘CLEAN YOUR F*#&ING ACT UP’, but there’s no one here anymore to keep me in check.Continue reading “The Metamorphosis by Jess McColl”