We slosh through these places, Jorvy and I, with beeping equipment we don’t understand and in suits that keep us alive. Our breathing is laboured. Boluses build at the base of our throats, resting like half-swallowed pills. The gin they give us, which tastes like it had to cross a dozen illicit borders to get here, dissolves them.Continue reading “Civil Servants by Ben Fitton”
My mother always liked the idea of being queen. I think that’s why I hated her so much.
Though she believed we lived in a palace our home was modest and our garden was, to my delight, unruly. She wore clothes she couldn’t afford, stained with perfumes so sweet they made me feel sick. Her king had left her and she had no other children. Her only kingdom was me.Continue reading “Mother by Josh Walker”
The sheet snaps crisply in the wind, perfectly white, a blank canvas hanging on a line. A woman, neither young nor particularly old, bends over a large, wicker basket. Her hands are large and red, prematurely knotted from the harsh, unceasing wind. She is a good-sized woman. An old floral print dress clings to generous haunches as she efficiently plucks each item from the line and places it in the basket. She is one of an unbroken line of generations past, hardened and forged by life on the plains.Continue reading “Dust to Dust by A. Elizabeth Herting”
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”