I wasn’t greedy.
I was careful.
I was consistent. Continue reading Each Time History Repeats Itself, They Say The Price Goes Up by Shannon Savvas
I wasn’t greedy.
though if they didn’t, they would be admitting defeat. Or they’d be facing the silence. If they had gone straight home, she would have been able to cry openly, all day. She was glad they went into town. Continue reading The Spare Room by Safiya Cherfi
I forget about the men. Not actively, like it’s something I need to remember to do. But naturally, as I pull the water around the kayak. I know that this should be a good time to think about work, about how much longer I can stand being in the same room as the pair of them. Or about dating again. It’s nine months since Suzanne left me, and I’ve not seen anyone since. Continue reading The Tide by David Micklem
When I was thirteen or fourteen, they took my braces off, which would normally be a great thing except when they did mine they ripped off chunks of my teeth. Continue reading Pretty Girl, Perfect Teeth by Nicole Sellew
On my knees, I reach behind the toilet, but my phone isn’t there. I crawl to the mattresses and reach into the space between bed and wall, finding only used tissues, hairbands and dust. I shake out the sheets and toss the pillows. Nothing. I dig through the clothes on the futon until I reach the dirty red slipcover. Still no phone, not even a handful of coins for a payphone. Continue reading That Thing I Lost by Tara Van De Mark
Stella feels a pang of guilt, remembering her carer. Did she say she had recently lost a brother to the virus? It’s hard to recall details like that, these days. She didn’t mean to be unkind, about the wages. Poor woman is only doing her job, and compassionately at that. She’s the one that gives Stella a kiss goodnight and tucks her in bed before she goes off shift. Continue reading No Particular Place to Go by Bonnie Meekums
As always, he looked over as if startled by its existence and the possibility that he could have taken more than a few moments of my time. “But there’s more, these arms-” Continue reading Straight Expectations by Anna Ross
It looked like someone had poured concrete on top of the roots of this tree to try and hold them in place. There was a rutted, pocked mound like the caldera of a volcano, from which the tree’s belligerent trunk erupted upwards. It looked like at any moment it could pull itself upwards and take a step. Continue reading Leave No Trace by Nora Thurkle
Something small rustles furtive by her feet. Absently she braces her hand on a gnarled trunk and follows its contortions with her fingers. Chatter punctuates the air. A ripple of mocking laughter, and too late she’s seized by memory’s bright claws: pale wax, a stain on patterned fabric. Wiry hair glinting in lamplight. Continue reading Her Last Catch by Leila Martin
He had been eight years older than she was and at the time she saw him as her saviour. St George rescuing her from the family home where, after her mother’s untimely death from cancer, she had seen herself becoming trapped with her demanding father. He had been another man who was always right. Out of the frying pan, as her friend Betty always said. Continue reading Finding Closure by David Rudd
Pitting the written word against the moving image in a battle to determine the best fiction. Continue reading Book vs Film: The Painted Bird
Statistically, there’s about a one in 11,000,000 chance that you’ll be involved in a plane crash, while there’s a one in 5000 chance that you’ll be involved in a car accident. So on paper, I had nothing to worry about. Continue reading Eagle by Thomas Morgan
The evening started like most of my evenings: in the kitchen preparing a vegetarian stir-fry. With the vegetables sizzling in the wok, I reached for the soy sauce. Somebody coughed. I froze mid-splosh, the soy wavering over the hob. The sound had come from the empty living room. Continue reading BFH by Jacqui Pack
Marfa rises to her feet. This is no time to wallow in the past. One child has turned to dust within its grave and the other did not know her from a stranger. Continue reading Kindness, of a Sort by Jacqui Pack
All dogs are descended from wolves. Some more recently than others. The little blue handbook given to us with Sadie at the animal sanctuary said, Husky-German Shepherd Cross. The young man who walked her out to the car said, “Definitely wolf,” and smiled and laughed. Continue reading You, Me, Them, It by Mark Barlex
murky window in its pane and sending groans through the walls. It does not rouse the brat, who sleeps soundly in his basket. Mrs Moray feels no great emotion as she listens to the girl speak of her husband’s antics, save mild surprise; the man she knew was at best a lapsed Baptist, with little time for church save Christmas and Easter. Continue reading Stolen by J. H. Whitcutt
There’s a stand-off, gunslinger style. Mari’s at one end of the sitting room, next to the man-tel. Tim’s at the other, filling the space underneath the archway leading into the kitchen. He scrapes his hand through his hair, and Mari wonders if he’s looking for answers amongst the dandruff. Continue reading Playing for Keeps by Rachael Grant
For a time, in my teens, I would experiment with the compass from my trigonometry kit. When I had mastered some control over my power, I used it to my advantage. I’d etch cross-hatched eyes and a wobbly grin with a tongue poking from it onto the back of my hand – Nirvana – and I’d wait for the rain to come. Continue reading Every Cloud by SJ Townend