Click images to read some of the finest stories from our back issues, plus new fiction.
K M Elkes
If you were a stranger happening on Shoreham Street for the first time – particularly on a typical day, the kind of day that dawdles across the long yards between breakfast and dinner…
The headmistress possessed fine-boned elegance. That had been agreed upon by Lin and the girls, who wanted fine-boned elegance and every other attribute of hers for themselves.
So Leo is worried. He’s been thinking about this for some time and he’s now confident he recognises an escalating pattern, a gathering sequence of events.
Go to Halong Bay, everyone said, and they almost did not. This was on the things that had brought them together in the early days; a shared suspicion of what everyone dictated.
Sally is a worried tiger because they are late. Her mother drives round the block and when they return Sally spies the perfect space – right outside the old church hall – but they cannot stop.
How much would it hurt if I rode my bike straight into that wall? It’s low and just made of stones balanced on top of one another. I probably wouldn’t break anything.
Sitting back against the beach house, under a wedge of shade, he watches his daughter sleeping inches from the sea.
“Why don’t you outline your idea,” I say, the Portuguese falling out like smooth, well-proportioned scoops of ice cream. “Walk me through it.”
C. G. Menon
“Said the art wasn’t realistic enough.” Robert champed on that, as though somewhere inside it might have a harmless core.
Khaled Mansour rested the shovel against the wall of his apartment building and bent to beat a puff of fine orange earth from the knees of his trousers.
There was a crunch and the Kombi cut out and Arthur sailed it off the road.
T H E L I G H T S R E M A I N
Outside the store in which Sandra works, there is an Orbiter.
S A T U R A T I O N
Harold rings the bell, the only one without a name attached.
There are four of us on the boat. Jean-Luc and myself, and Belgian music manager Raoul Vidal and his Japanese soprano wife Mieko Inoue.
Daniel laughed too much. He laughed when the young woman gave him his drinks, laughed when he spilled some transferring them to a tray with the slice of cake and the sugar bowl and then laughed after thanking her for the cloth.
The day the girl arrived in Venice, the city was laid to rest in a coffin as pink as a tart’s tit.
André turned from the road, dropping the bike into a lower gear, twisting the throttle, taking the sloping track gently.
They’ve agreed to meet in the lobby of her campus hotel. Anna waits on one of the sagging leather sofas, leaning into the darkened headrest.
Lola’s mouth is too broad for her face. It means that she smiles before she plans to.
There was a naugahyde easy chair and a copy of William Burroughs’ Exterminator.
Z A H R A
The night before the children left, Zahra’s mother made injera bread and her father gave a speech asking that god protect his children on their journey.
Li San Xing
When news got around that there was a three-headed sea serpent headed for the shore, the townsfolk returned to their mid-afternoon work with a renewed gusto.
B U D D Y H O L L Y, H O L Y B U D D H A
Nobody talked about the demonstrations which had been going on in every town they visited.
The story begins when a pine cone raises its knuckles and abandons its nuts, losing them to the birds and the chipmunks and the wind, only one of them taking hold in the earth.
Is this a good one? Was he most like this one? No. Too serenely contemplative?
It was not yet light at the Botanics. Fearful of making even the slightest noise, I walked on the turned verges, where the earth was still moist from overnight rain.
E AT I N G S N A K E
There is a commotion in the pool. The kids shout at the attendant, who shouts back. The maid can’t speak English and I can’t speak Chinese, but she puts her hand on her head and flails her arms to suggest a drowning.
S E E N O E V I L
‘That coffee machine you ordered from Rome’s on the dock now, and the man there’s insisting that you must go down in person, to be there when they open it, so as to see there’s no jiggery-pokery.’
L I K E S O M A N Y A S U F F E R I N G P R O M E T H E U S
Hepatitis has made me immune to other people’s trauma. Today is September 11th, but my inflamed liver refuses to let me feel for America.
S O N G O F S O N G S
Philip Ó Ceallaigh
She was getting off a bus with about twenty others when he saw her. If you don’t fuck this one, thought Joey, you can toss yourself off the balcony.