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”
Her box on the shelf at June’s Miniature Mart is getting dusty. She watches through her plastic window on the world as her aisle is put on sale. “50% off! Get ’em before they’re gone!”Continue reading “June’s Miniature Mart Off Highway 101 by Sage Tyrtle”
It began when the weather turned. That cold, still brightness had gone. The leaves’ rusted gilt was torn from the trees and scattered across the tumbling grey clouds by the winds that knocked over the bins and beat down the last of the climbing beans in the vegetable patch. The shed’s corrugated roof flapped like a fish, clanging through the night.Continue reading “The Plea by Craig Dobson”
He was seeing another woman, a woman who was not his wife, which admittedly was a little disorienting. What was he gaining that wasn’t already given to him by me or the wife (the wife never called him daddy). He hadn’t replied to my texts in three days, and I was about to announce a fake pregnancy. Then she called.Continue reading “Quarters by Meg Croley”
Carlton was a diminutive man with a rotund belly and a shock of tawny hair that swished from side to side as he shifted his head like a curious sparrow. He would drift through the working days in our publishing company brushing past his colleagues wordlessly in perfumed high-rise elevators, impossibly tight hallways and the tearoom where everyone gathered at mid-morning for an extra caffeine fix. He designed book covers for manuscripts that wove magical realist tales of invisible animals and children lost in ethereal kingdoms – fantasy worlds that seemed to give him sustenance, something maybe his surrounding environment couldn’t.Continue reading “Picture Frame by Tim Frank”
Amber Kenny was a timid child. She had a round face and hair to match her name. Every night she prayed for her wild, orange curls to turn dark and straight but every morning they bounced back into place, redder than ever.Continue reading “Kenny Women by Fiona McGarvey”
In my suitcase there were six pairs of knickers. Six was the number I’d need for a week of work, assuming that one night I’d swim or go to the gym and it wouldn’t be outrageous to wash a couple of pairs in the hotel shower.
I’d packed four tops, all of them black. Jackie in Rentals had told me that if you wear all black nobody notices. Once, she’d worn the same black shirt every day for a month and no one raised an eyebrow. Then she wore a yellow shirt twice in a week and four people said don’t you have another top?
Why do Southerners romanticize dreck? They positively gush over everything in sight, including the weeds covering the telephone poles along the highway. Kudzu, an invasive weed, is treated like gorse. Southerners are proud of it, like everything else. Kudzu is nothing to be proud of, but Peter Taylor is. Light in August is something to get excited about. Tennessee Williams knew a thing or two, but is he invited to the Liberty Bowl? What of Eudora Welty?
“Err…Ladies and Gentlemen…The Groom.”
The wee mousey man backed away out the door. The groom stood up championing Sports Direct and eating a Gregg’s sausage roll.
I feel the scream rise, but I crush it back down into a solid lump of coal, and then further, harder, until it becomes an imperfect diamond of rage stuck in my throat. I can’t let it out. I can’t swallow it. It sits, laboring my breathing. I shove it down as hard as I can, store it, just like all the others. The rage, the sorrow, the pain. It all goes to the same place.
My life is like a demented fairy tale where the princess barfs jewels and escapes the evil Prince in her shitty Honda. I should be rich from all this.