The Spot by Alan McCormick

In the middle of the sofa seat is a large damp spot. Richard bends down to have a closer look and puts his finger tentatively on the spot. It’s cold and sticky. He recoils, his brain notching up a gear: It couldn’t be? And, anyway, if it was he’d surely try and hide it? And I’m not checking, sniffing. But he does sniff and closes his eyes when he does, he’s not sure why. “Fuck! Fucking hell!” He thinks about checking the bedding in the bag. It feels too much, sordid, but also straightforwardly forensic, a conclusive step down the line to confirming something he’s not sure he wants to confirm right now. But against this instinct, a stronger impulse makes him pull the sheet from the bag. The same spot is on the sheet and when he places the sheet on the sofa the spots merge in a perfect match. Continue reading The Spot by Alan McCormick

We Still Don’t Use The Garage by SJ Townend

We have our happy routines: Job Centre on a Monday, Wetherspoon’s on a Thursday, kebabs on a Friday at the start of the month, then beans with a flipped egg to garnish when the giro runs dry. The boys keep the kitchen clean and I do the lounge. The bathroom is no man’s land – it’s functional, but you wouldn’t want to be trapped there for longer than needs be.  Continue reading We Still Don’t Use The Garage by SJ Townend

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? by Robert Lumsden

Though the Outcasts were apprehensive of The Towers, few could resist the strange longing they compelled. Nobody should hold themselves to blame for this, the Ultras taught. Lusting after the cold and distant reminders of their loss of paradise was no sin provided each Outcast understood the shining obelisks for the harbingers of hell they truly were.  Continue reading Where Have All the Flowers Gone? by Robert Lumsden

Dama Bianca by Urška Vidoni

When her husband was at home, she tried to be the best wife she could, and when he wasn’t, she tried to be the best mother she could. But all was in vain; the knight couldn’t, or maybe didn’t want to, see the effort she was making for the family. The balls at the castle became less and less frequent, and her husband sought the company of the bottle instead. Continue reading Dama Bianca by Urška Vidoni

Amazon Super Prime by Remy Maisel

Helen thought it was strange, but pre-emptive purchases couldn’t be right one hundred percent of the time. Though, they were right most of the time, which made it seem like they could predict the future, but they couldn’t. For one thing, she wasn’t at all certain how Amazon had known that she and Pete had lost the corkscrew they’d already had, but it was more likely that that wasn’t what had happened at all – most likely, they’d bought that one from Amazon and statistically they were right around the point that most people either lost or broke theirs. Maybe it was even designed to break after about two years.  Continue reading Amazon Super Prime by Remy Maisel

Ten Sheets to the Wind by David Christopher Johnston

content warning: suicide This is not a cry for help. If it were, I’d be standing on the eastern edge of this multi-storey car park – directly above the busy bars and nightclubs – so all the Saturday-evening drinkers could witness my final fall. I’d linger on the ledge long enough to cause a scare and soak up the sympathy before deciding to give life … Continue reading Ten Sheets to the Wind by David Christopher Johnston

Crackers by Karen Walker

First published in The Womb Department Anthology content warning: death Dressed in the cleanest clothes she has, Wendy shops at Grocery Giant on Mondays when selection is best, her pocket full of coins. People give the most on Sundays. She nods to the cashiers as she enters the store. They call the manager: “Crackers is here.” Wendy shops in aisle six – Snacks. She passes the candy and the chocolate because … Continue reading Crackers by Karen Walker