Long Reads

Buddy by Nathan Toplis

‘We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin,’ said the authoritative voice that suddenly took the place of the nightly drone. Buddy had never heard a special news bulletin before. ‘Three young singers who soared to the heights of show business on the current rock and roll craze were killed today in the crash…

Hope is an expensive thing by Corrina O’Beirne

Together they stare at the ACES AND EIGHTS neon sign swinging above the bar, then sharply at a couple of dusty, hillside, open-mouthed locals, hypnotised by a slowly scrolling Panavision TV circa 1978. She has a pretty good idea of what’s running through his mind: will he get out of this dump with his kneecaps?…

The People Who Live in the Feeney Flats by Michael Cooney

All I knew was King wasn’t there when I came home. My mom told me he went to a farm where he would be happy. King had the mange really bad and was biting away at his fur all the time. It made him mean. He bit me a couple times but I never told…

The Art of Preserving by Martha Lane

Not a single islander outside the family had ever seen the fossils. Forty-eight of them, perfectly preserved in their meandering parade. There had never been a larger collection reported.

The Ruy by Richard Garcka

Anita stirred her morning coffee and imagined a Sargasso swirl of letters and numbers, tumbling, gyrating. As the rotation slowed, they conjoined, drifting up from the surface: e4; bg7; g6; nc6. She shaped the display into a merry-go-round and began mentally ordering the sequences, formulating, composing.

Monsters Don’t Feel Heat by SJ Walker

When our order was announced, I felt a huge sense of relief. Wasting no time, Hank grabbed my arm and pulled me with him to the counter. With our coffees and my donut in a brown paper bag, we exited the shop hastily. In the parking lot, we almost ran to our car. The woman…

The Spare Room by Safiya Cherfi

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.

You, Me, Them, It by Mark Barlex

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.

Headline by Robb Sheppard

10.36pm. They’re not just late now; they’re Amy Winehouse late. The blips and wub-wubs of the Never Gonna Give You Up cover version are barely audible over the audience’s detached impatience and theatrical sighs. The song’s ironic. I think. I hope. The crowd, however, are being more vocal at this one moment than during the…

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