Saturday night. They were round at Robbie’s getting ready. Paul was doing Robbie’s hair. An hour offloading a full can of hairspray, backcombing his dyed-black mass of candy floss that increased his height six inches and was broader than his shoulders. Mel, sprawled back on the bed, was ready, and had been since Paul started Robbie’s hair. The television, on top of the chest of drawers where his mum kept her extra clothes, was switched on, the volume turned to zero. Mel had his green jeans on, a Bauhaus t-shirt with the arms sawn off and triple-buckled boots. The hour working on Robbie’s hair was double the time Robbie’s mum used to take, but she refused to do it anymore. Robbie had on his mandatory black suit and a purple paisley shirt. His mum was already out somewhere so they had the record playing close to full blast on the turntable. Paul was mid-backcomb on Robbie’s fringe when he jolted forward from him pointing at the television.Continue reading “The Iceberg by Paul Kimm”
An Invite for Kanji
Kanji’s shop is easy to spot, the name board is big and backlit, and it stands out amongst shabby establishments with dull yellow-red lighting. I shoulder my way through the late evening bazaar crowd to reach the store.
It’s getting dark and I don’t like the look of this neighborhood. Yet I set out to see ‘my uncle’ thanks to my innate sense of duty.Continue reading “An Invite for Kanji”
Autumn Eyes Lost, Autumn Eyes found by Anmitra Jagannathan
Callahan wishes the voices would stop, but they never do. Some are soft as a caress, some are screamed out shrill. Some are wistful sighs of longing, some are determined mantras. Some are woven with glee, some are drowned in sorrow. No matter what they are, they never stop, swirling around his head, taunting him to listen, daring him to comfort, daring him to help, daring him to laugh, daring him to cry.Continue reading “Autumn Eyes Lost, Autumn Eyes found by Anmitra Jagannathan”
Blue by Selina Sheth
Blue is the color of anxiety, the smell of despair, the sound of confusion, the taste of fear, the touch of doubt. For Jamshed, it brings back jumbled flashes of long-buried images and emotions. A neon cobalt-stained hospital wall at age five, the time he’d smashed his knee and waited endlessly for a doctor to arrive, any doctor. An inky high school test paper that he’d known he’d fail before even looking at the questions. A joyride in a stolen navy-hued Honda that had landed him and his slow-witted friend Pesi in jail for a night.Continue reading “Blue by Selina Sheth”
Sweet Tea by Radhika Kapoor
Karan came to visit them once, Meera and her husband, soon after the wedding. She had cracked open the door with quiet trepidation, for he had told only her he was coming. Even after having seen innumerable pictures of him in her husband’s old, milky photo albums, she was unprepared for his beauty, and, for a moment, she cupped her cheek in astonishment as she gazed at him. She was wearing her favorite patterned frock and trousers, and knew she looked pleasant. To her, his eyes were pools of chocolate kindness, his voice lilting. She couldn’t possibly imagine how her husband had given him up – a younger, even lovelier, even more unsettling iteration of him. He folded his slender hands in greeting; she slowly unlatched the door and led him inside, feeling the corners of her vision contract to focus on Karan.Continue reading “Sweet Tea by Radhika Kapoor”
Arthur Rimbaud in New York by Cathleen Davies
‘Creep, my love, why don’t you photograph me?’
Creep took many photos. Creep had seen a lot of bodies. They were always scarred and twisted because all bodies, excepting those of new-born babies, are scarred and twisted. His models were dirty. Creep liked bohemian grit, the real, as he called it. He liked the street-rats best. He savoured dirt.
Continue reading “Arthur Rimbaud in New York by Cathleen Davies”
Pacheco Boulevard by Kent Quaney
A pear can break a window if you throw it hard enough, which David has done, shattering the top pane of the patio door, the sound lost in the blast of our crazy loud backyard. Half the block is here for a barbecue on a blazing hot Sunday afternoon, knocking back beers from Styrofoam coolers, holding sweaty shouted conversations over the racket of Pacheco Boulevard.
A Charming Couple by Des Kelly
London 1929, a society sticking to the rigid values of the past, but only on the surface.
Such charm he had, Leonard. Such charm, elegance too. Poise, like a woman. He’d observe out of the corner of his eyes; feline, almost feminine. Everyone liked Leonard, even when the opinions expressed could be cutting. Acute observation.
People believed him blessed, and sought out his company at parties. He was rarely alone. Despite advances from both men and women, Adele was the only woman Leonard took home, but they weren’t lovers.