fiction

fiction May 21, 2022

Mud

Brown shapes move across the screen, leaving dark streaks in the mud behind them. Salt glitters, and some darker crystal. The bodies move purposefully, now and then a flash of teeth that must be laughter. Happy workers, covered in the earth they...

fiction May 14, 2022

Completing the 1080 project

I have recently taken it upon myself to work my way through the internet in search of my ancestry. I call it my 1080 Project. As a wise old tech-savvy male elder of the family Rattus rattus , and with no chance of a pleasant natural death, I’m...

fiction May 7, 2022

Cold storage

We called him Santa – unimaginatively, on account of his white hair – but we might as easily have arranged those same five letters in a different order. He did not come down our chimney, but he did make his first impression via trespass – hearing a...

fiction April 30, 2022

Skiva

At 15 Sebastian didn’t see himself as a vandal, as the law did. He saw himself as a writer. The secret language of tags and symbols, the liminal space of tunnels and railways, the argot of street writers, the underground camaraderie of the graffiti...

fiction April 23, 2022

Big baby

At first Andrea thought there was a problem with her eyes. She went to the optometrist at lunch. He had her read off a chart and blew puffs of air on her corneas. “Tip-top,” he concluded. “You shouldn’t be having any trouble seeing the stage.” But...

fiction April 9, 2022

Side eye

Mr Bull, our new teacher, arrived in the third week of summer term. He wore formal shorts and high grey socks and we named him Bullybum. He’d lived in the desert for three years before he came to our school, and when I said I wanted to be the prime...

fiction April 2, 2022

Five anecdotes

Bicycle Courier A young Bicycle Courier who, one night after a Big Bash match, for a prank shimmied up a flagpole and stole the national flag and who later – the judge recorded, half-smiling – while profoundly intoxicated wore this flag as a summer...

fiction March 26, 2022

Violettowne

1. This might be about what Bert Billingsworth did to Tho. North’s youngest brother, or George Ley’s cousin, who knows, but the Honourable told me to write down as much as I could remember. The Honourable said every detail, every bit, don’t skimp,...

fiction March 19, 2022

Three takes

Juggling The child is juggling in the streets. His parents have dressed him in his best, but even these clothes have seen better days. His act is better suited to a circus than the city square, but for each day he comes here, he leaves at the end...

fiction March 12, 2022

Random words: Grand Reign Aisle Zero

Grand It’s easy to turn your back on the train station – 19th-century architecture, wrought iron, stone, old-fashioned ornate – since they stopped the trains and chained the doors shut to keep the homeless out. Try to forget. Inside, where few...

fiction March 5, 2022

Mantle

This is the shape of my grief then. The stone in the shape of a dildo. This stone. It’s grey, this stone. I know nothing about where this stone has come from. Is it igneous? It is not sedimentary, that much I know. It’s very smooth, a pleasure to...