Fiction | Radon Girls by Lauren Sarazen

I set my bag down at my feet, and looked back at the way I’d come, sweating, breathing hard. The path was narrow and shaped by switchbacks that snaked up the hill. It disappeared behind a bend adorned with a clump of morning glories that made the climb look bucolic and gentle. This was a lie. They hadn’t told me about the hills, the uneven quality of the roads. They’d told me to hire a cart to bring me up to the house, but I wasn’t in the habit of ordering carts. [...]

Fiction | Fear In Your Water by Julia Bell

I had been reading Foucault – and not understanding it properly; I was too distracted to concentrate. But I got the gist of it, at least what I thought was the important stuff, what he was saying about madness and how it has been civilised out of us, how back in the day it used to be that sane people and mad people all lived together and there wasn’t so much of a difference. And ‘mad’ people were often seen as visionaries with special access to God. It was only when people [...]

Fiction | Winter by Philip Womack

One Wednesday evening, on the stone steps outside an umbrella shop somewhere near Tottenham Court Road, Sam encountered Silvestra de Winter in person for the first, and last, time. Rain droplets spattered down the back of his neck. The umbrellas, lining the window like carcasses in a butcher’s shop, were striped in pinks, greens, and oranges. Some, in what was evidently thought a rather witty touch, had carved animal heads. One duck-headed umbrella looked like [...]

Fiction | Silver Lining by Charlotte Newman

Things were not so free back then, but I was. Still a girl, living in my body. We’d been at the pictures, her dad and me, slurping pop, finding each other’s hands in the space for drinks. He waited until we got to the station to kiss me, which seemed so out of character. I’d seen no proof of happiness in marriage and dishwashers, so when he asked me back to his flat, I didn’t mind. It wasn’t 'beyond' I was after [...]

Fiction | Mens Rea by Annie Fan

Gaby didn’t mean to do it. She wanted to, though — wanted to do something so bad that she might have something to write about — to make the words better than her own life, own breathing, Mark’s breathing. What else is there to it? They met a decade ago when she was halfway through a bland novel, an equally bland degree. They married and less than a year later, she began wanting. She thought that ten years was a decent run of things, a human sort of number [...]

Fiction | Just Wait For The Party by Laurane Marchive

‘Why not just burn everything?’ Sarah puts down her cup and reaches for the bottle. She pours herself more wine. On the table, all the glasses are full. ‘You know we can’t,’ I say. ‘Why not? Let’s just get rid of them, once and for all.’ She gestures at the plants making their way through our windows, through every crack in the walls. Around our kitchen and living room, short green stumps line the edges of the ceiling like sharp poking fingers, their flesh covered with a thin [...]

Fiction | Wormwood by Benjamin Watts

The sliding doors at Tesco are fastened open. A torn flyer that reads PAINTBA pokes out from under the felt. I roll one of the smaller trolleys through, forearms leaning on the handle, head stooped forward and turned right so I can see the cashiers, left ear to the ground, left thumb and forefinger dangling my phone in a small fanning motion over the cart. I see all the lines extend back into the aisles, I can hear a steady blip of scanners, feet shuffling forward, light and heavy ruffling: packets of crisps and [...]

Fiction | Not Contagious by Haleh Agar

We’d agreed to the terms and conditions. How to accept and decline an invitation of touch. What to do in case of accidental erection. We’d ticked the box that confirmed we were clean, contagion-free, sound of mind people. Pierre roamed the yoga studio with a disarming smile. He was there to enforce the rules: platonic touch. No funny business. Most people in the studio had paired off, their bodies locked together on those tired mandala cushions. Some lay hidden under white duvets like dead unmoving things [...]

Fiction | Blood Brothers by Jessica Andrews

When we were splattered with freckles and tied up in pigtails, we picked sharp rocks from the garden and pushed them into each other’s wrists, our flesh tender and white like peeled crabs. I remember the way our wounds looked, mushy and filled with pieces of grit. ‘Now we are blood brothers,’ I said. She looked at me from behind her nose. 'Blood sisters,’ she pouted. We got changed on the back seat of the car every Wednesday night as my mam drove us from school [...]

Fiction | Exposition by Nathalie Léger tr. Amanda DeMarco

She enters. She is roused by anger and reproach. She bursts onto the right of the image as if it were a backdrop masked with curtains. One hand clutches a knife against her waist, which gleams obliquely across her belly. Her face is cold, her mouth thin, lips tight, eyebrows knit, her gaze is clear and hard, her hair is slicked into two little severely parted plaits. The knife, whose handle disappears into her balled fist, vibrates at the very center, nearly absent from it [...]

Fiction | “Smack” from Salt Slow by Julia Armfield

The following text is an extract from the story “Smack”, taken from Julia Armfield’s debut collection Salt Slow, published by Picador: 'The jellyfish come with the morning – a great beaching, bodies black on sand. The ocean empties, a thousand dead and dying invertebrates, jungled tentacles and fine, fragile membranes blanketing the shore two miles in each direction. They are translucent, almost spectral, as though the sea has exorcised its ghosts [...]'

Fiction | Blue Nude by Charlotte Newman

It was ironic, she thought. Her first shift at the museum was understaffed, it was just the two of them in ceramics. He was dark-lashed, very slight – given more to edges than the centre of things [...]

Fiction | We Can Be Friends by Lauren Sarazen

There was a cluster of coats and hats careening over the railing, and when I got closer I could see what they were looking at. The basin, which had been full of water the last time I’d passed, was drained to the dregs and men in coveralls and tall rubber boots were crawling around in the sludge [...]

Spotlight V: Journals Edition | LE GUN / Hotel

The London Magazine has long been a champion of emerging writers and independent publishers, stretching back to the 1950s and 60s, when young writers...

Fiction | The Prisoner by Tammye Huf

Tammye HufThe Prisoner I set my alarm clock for midnight, because at one in the morning we wanted to slaughter.  It rang muffled, under my...

Fiction | Down the Marina by Daniel Kramb

Daniel KrambDown the Marina At the city’s edge, half way into the marina, Ana-Maria sits on top of her boat, wearing a man’s jumper, pants...

Fiction | In Search of Scott by Will Kitson

Will KitsonIn Search of Scott I remember the first time I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work. I was 20 years old, in the second year...

Fiction | Are There More People Alive Than Dead? by Laurane...

Laurane MarchiveAre There More People Alive Than Dead? The phone rings. 5am. It’s your boyfriend. He is in New York so with the time difference,...

Fiction | Don’t Tell Father by Denisa Vitova

Denisa VitovaDon't Tell Father -----My mother bought a new dress she didn’t necessarily need but which fit her tall, slim figure perfectly, its creamy colour...

Fiction | Jane Campbell — Schopenhauer and I

Robots could help solve social care crisis, say academics In the UK alone, 15,000 people are over 100 years of age and this figure will only increase. The robots will offer support with everyday tasks, like taking tablets, as well as offering companionship. — BBC News, 30th January 2017

Extract | Mnemic Symbols by Andrew Hodgson

 The following is an extract from Andrew Hodgson's novel Mnemic Symbols (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019). For more information, visit Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Andrew HodgsonMnemic Symbols Two,‘As I’ve told...

Fiction | The Interpreter of Dreams and Maladies by Mark Budman

Mark BudmanThe Interpreter of Dreams and MaladiesI. Stick Figures in Paradise The interpreter of dreams and maladies draws a stick figure with an orange crayon....

Fiction | The Bone Mole by Ed Cottrell

Ed CottrellThe Bone Mole ———There was a little bone mole for sale, a carving of a mole made of bone. It caught my eye sitting...

Extract | The Governesses by Anne Serre tr. Mark Hutchinson

Anne Serre (tr. Mark Hutchinson)The Governesses ‘One less,’ thought the elderly gentleman to himself as he folded up his telescope. This one wouldn’t be wriggling...

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