Quick Reads

Ward 31 by David Christopher Johnston

I count the seventy-two ceiling tiles above my head – one for each hour I’ve been stuck in Ward 31. It feels like many more. The room is imprinted on my brain: custard-coloured walls, sticky floor, the smell of industrial cleaning products masking the smell of death…

Born With Bears by Philip Webb Gregg

They came from the dark warmth of our mothers’ wombs, held tight in our little arms as we slipped into the world. A knot of fluff and claws no bigger than a peach. Doctors were confused, nurses shocked.

The Mind’s Eye by Margaret McDonald

The thing wearing Anna’s face is making breakfast. This isn’t how it starts. It starts when Erik is reading in the study, papers scattered across the desk, rubbing circles into his temples.

The Little Triangular Pieces of Plastic by Michael Conley

Eventually they began to overwhelm us. Granted, it was never a dull moment with them around: they were often colourful and shiny, and would reflect sunlight in pleasing, shimmering ways. But they were so floaty and easily disturbed that they’d get everywhere as soon as you walked anywhere near them.

Unsent Letters Found in Time Machines by Sara Magdy Amin

I know now why the idea of you always seemed like an afterthought written on the back of holy paper, scrunched, thrown into a mist and never retrieved. But maybe there is a version of you somewhere that was retrieved, maybe, below a rusting copper roof, the past and the future uncoil at your feet.

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