The Man Who Sits By Lexi Butler

The man who sits all day in the hot afternoon sun can only see out of one eye. Covered by a thick and egg-white ooze, the eye moves, and the film moves along with it, as he shifts his gaze.…

Reunion by Sheila Scott

It’s unusual to get a table seat to yourself at rush hour. Maybe this is the good omen I’ve been seeking since I got up this morning.   This particular day has been so long coming I expected to be…

Crimson by David Cook

I rub my finger over your hand as you stare blankly downwards. Your skin is much rougher now than it used to be, mottled and calloused. I frown as I examine the folds in your palm. I can still see,…

Silent Night by Anne Soilleux

Alice stares out of the window and lets the blackout curtain embrace her, as heavy on her shoulders as her familiar school duffle coat. It traps the draughts fingering their way around the frost-laced panes and muffles the steady drone…

Tissue Paper Whispers by Ali McGrane

The wind is changing. Early morning traffic spurts like water from a stuttering tap. I have no memory of sleep, but the dream threads tell me otherwise. When you left for work, for the day’s soft drift, you seemed so…

Line in the Sand by Helen Chambers

Foam spatters Great Uncle Ben’s folded-up trouser hems as he splashes towards us through the shallow wavelets. Shell grains glitter his marbled feet. The receding tide washes over his footprints with salt water and he lopes close enough to shout…

Torn by Rosaleen Lynch

Torn, from scissors on the umbilical cord, from nails without scratch mittens, gums cut from teeth breaking through, forehead and nose grazes from learning-to-walk bumps and falls, and on knees and hands from running, in lungs from whooping cough, from…

Princess by Jude Higgins

My brothers lifted up the mattress  on my bed and  weaselled in my hairbrush, a couple of hard plastic baby dolls, three Enid Blyton books, Dad’s metal ashtray and discarded pipe, an empty bottle of PLJ, Mum’s summer sling-backs and…

Trailer Park Nights by Chris Milam

Jake Mathews was the king of the trailer park. 19, good-looking, charming, always knew what pretty words to say to the young girls. He liked the power he had, the ability to control those girls with a wicked smile or…

A Totally Happy Coincidence by Paul Rousseau

A man in a funny hat rang the doorbell so I hid in the bathroom but then mom let him in, just like that. He carried a tweed case and I asked what was inside but he wouldn’t tell, just…

Mom Has Taken Up Rage Coloring by Todd Clay Stuart

The nursing home calls to tell me my tenderhearted mother has taken up rage coloring. She presses down so hard she leaves tiny gravesites of torn paper and crayon rubble wherever she goes. They’re sorry, but they have to ban…

Paint All My Days Grey by Emma Robertson

I know the sea should be blue; intellectually I know this, of course I do. Yet as I sit and watch each salty, foamy roll of seawater build to its crescendo before fizzling out into sherbet-tipped ripples along the shoreline,…