Portrait of the artist as an out-of-shape middle-aged failure with an expanding waist, receding hairline, shrinking horizons and the feeling of living through the Beginning of the End Times (again) while struggling to make sense of a world he has long since given up even trying to understand by Terry Holland

I can’t remember how long it’s been there. Probably forever. A constant weight on my shoulder – sometimes the left, sometimes the right; always there, always pushing down. I call it The Burden. Sometimes it’s almost tolerable; forgettable even, for a while. Sometimes it’s just crushing: grinding me into the ground, bending my back this …

Portrait of the artist as an out-of-shape middle-aged failure with an expanding waist, receding hairline, shrinking horizons and the feeling of living through the Beginning of the End Times (again) while struggling to make sense of a world he has long since given up even trying to understand by Terry Holland Read More »

The Peculiarities of Yearning by Stephanie Carty

The Peculiarities of Yearning is a collection of flash fiction and short stories that uses strange scenarios to explore how human longings are repressed and revealed. This collection includes stories that have won or been shortlisted in competitions including Bristol Short Story Prize, Bath Short Story Award, Bath Flash Fiction Award, Exeter Story Prize and …

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Time Tide by Amanda Saint

Sitting in the campervan staring at the sea she no longer gets in because Ned isn’t with her, Ava feels a throbbing in her lip at the same time as a faint ticking starts up inside her head. She pulls the rear-view mirror round to look and there’s a miniature grandfather clock embedded in her …

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The Mayor’s Bride by Noémi Scheiring-Olah

The villagers gather like crimson clouds over the cobblestones, looking up at the Mayor’s gleaming-granite balcony, thirsty for blood. They call her The Eighth, The Pure, The Hope, The Youngest. Anything, but her name. They’ve given their fattest swine, sweetest wine, their life’s harvest, and their wives, waiting to wash the stained sheet by the …

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Flour White by Batnadiv HaKarmi

Lealeh’s hair is snow white. Snow white and wrapped in a hair-net. A hair-net that glitters. Glittery studs in her ears. Her ears are small and elegant. Elegance of her fingers, wrapped around the cigarette holder. Her cigarette holder is long and silver—she blows in delicately, then exhales. Exhaling, she says, “I was addicted as …

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