Archive | The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes

As the young man came over the hill the first thin blowing of rain met him. He turned his coat-collar up and stood on top of the shelving rabbit-riddled hedgebank, looking down into the valley. He had come too far. What had set out as a walk along pleasantly-remembered tarmac lanes had turned dreamily by gate and path and hedge-gap into a cross-ploughland trek, his shoes ruined, the dark mud of the lower fields inching up the trouser legs of his grey suit where they [...]

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 [...]

Next Boat from Douala by William Boyd

From The London Magazine Stories 11, 1979Then the brothel was raided. Christ, he’d only gone down to Spinoza’s to confront Patience with her handiwork. She hadn’t...

Fiction | A Third Presence by Nadine Gordimer

When Rose and Naomi, daughters of poor Rasovsky the tailor, left school in the same year there was no discussion about what they should...

Fiction | Tunnel by Will Ashon

We began the tunnel behind the bunk bed in the back bedroom. We chose the back bedroom because the guards went in there less often. They were lazy and also had to queue outside the supermarket for an hour or more, which made them lazier still. Some of them were eating cat food straight from the squeezy pouches. It dribbled down their chins and made their eyes go funny. I wonder sometimes if they even knew what they were guarding [...]

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 | Monsters Make Monsters by Nina Ellis

I was the pretty sister. I was the good one, too. Some people said Jackie was the good sister, but that was to compensate for her moving 7,450 miles away from home to save the world. ‘Next right?’ said Jackie, frowning at her phone in the passenger seat. You mean left, babe, I said in my head. Jackie has never had much of a sense of direction, geographically or in life. That’s why I’d come here in the first place—not to see hippos, like I’d told her, but to get her to [...]

Fiction | Diasporic Guilt by Mohamed Keshavjee

‘Shoeshine, sir?’ asked the young lad with a shoeshine box in his hand, as I peered into the window of a shop in New...

Fiction | The Anthill by Julianne Pachico [Extract]

It’s the faded pink building down the road from the grocery store. An hour by bus from the Metrocable stop. Telephone wires cross the sky, chickens cluck from a nearby balcony, a dog with enormous testicles flees uphill. 1 p.m. Here they come. Chattering busily, streaming through the propped-open door. Ponytails bouncing, shirts untucked and speckled with dust from Tocineta and De Todito crisps. Some are in school uniforms, white socks pulled up to their knees [...]

Into the Blue by Alison Lock

A bee is trapped behind the curtains––its silhouette circles the head of a printed flower. Edith pulls her arm free of the tightly tucked...

Fiction | We Walk to Dissect by Laura Davis

There are bulls everywhere, a mass of black parading around the fence. The grass is yellower where their feet trample, the farmland is a...

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 | Just for Five Minutes by Alla Melenteva

It was an early May day. The war was considered over, though it had not yet been officially declared. A Russian junior lieutenant went...

Fiction | A Botanical Garden Movie by Jay Merill

I am standing by the edge of the ornamental fish pond. Late Friday. The water isn’t spurting now. They must have shut down the mechanism. After I say mechanism I think of my mother and the odd way she behaved when we used to come here. Which was quite a lot, or as she would have put it: regular as clockwork. By the time I was seven or eight I noticed there were certain phrases she loved to repeat. Saying Botanical Gardens out loud made her go [...]

Interview | David Keenan | For The Good Times

After a career as a music writer spanning more than 20 years, David Keenan released his first novel This Is Memorial Device in 2017,...

Fiction | The Word Necklace by Suzannah V. Evans

The word necklace was intricate, beautiful. When she put it on it felt light, beautiful, as if she were wearing coral, or air. The word...

Flash Fiction | Never Fall For That by Rebecca Lilly

"Clarify your intent," — Lama Chopra, ourmeditation teacher, rang the bell for us tosit — "the Reaper was once an old friend."My...

Child of Vengeance by David Kirk

Excerpt from Chapter OneThe battle was over, but still Kazuteru ran. He had duty to fulfil. The young samurai ignored the howling of his...

Interview | Amy Sackville

Back in March at the London Book Fair earlier this year, Vanessa Wheeler sat down with the author Amy Sackville to ask her about...

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 | About You by Marjorie Main

Early on a Saturday morning in October I met Vivian at Liverpool Street Station. Stevie had a painting in an exhibition opening that night,...

Blessed Is the Road On Which You Are Travelling Today by...

You had never heard of the word until an hour ago, but already your designers are as familiar with the concept as they are...

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 | 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...

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