‘Nothing mesh, the friend who had gotten Tracy the Stuck Girls job told her. This isn’t porn. The guys pay just to watch a regular girl who happens to get stuck.’
‘Maybe you heard about the sticks of dynamite he set along military rail routes, waiting for them to spark and explode.’ New flash fiction from Molly Antopol
Flash at Home
‘Flash Gordon, home from the terrible emptiness of space, has to make up stories for fear of worldwide despair.’
‘Six feet of man, muscled up perfect, game to the heart.’ New fiction from Jeffery Renard Allen.
‘Yes. Oh yes. That is who we once were. The Young must never, ever allow themselves to ignore what has brought them here.’
Who Is Like God
‘I grew up thinking He was folded into her body, very gently, like when she folded sifted icing sugar into beaten egg white, those kinds of loving corners.’
A Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word for Dam a Wooden Taste Is the Word For
‘My friends, what I mean is, this life is shallow like a plate. It goes no further.’
The New Me
‘But I feel sure. Making some decisions today, no doubt about that! Not thinking about certain things today, no doubt about that!’
‘It was only November but holiday decorations were already starting to creep into the store displays.’
‘There’s just no way, unassisted, to commit suicide. But then there’s no way to be just a human, isolated, stripped or just stripped of contexts – because even a cell must have a floor, a ceiling, walls.’
Trump Sky Alpha
‘Mr President, we can get you into a bunker with full communication equipment and you can give your address there, you just can’t do it in a goddamn plastic blimp at the start of World War III.’
The Secular World
‘There is no lack of talent in this country. All we lack is decent leaders.’ Pakistan’s secular world runs against fundamentalism in Nadeem Aslam’s latest novel, The Golden Legend.
‘Where emotions are suppressed and actions monitored, acting only becomes ubiquitous, and so convincing that we even trick ourselves.’
John Connell writes of a trial and a murder during the Irish War of Independence.
4 3 2 1: Overture
‘According to family legend, Ferguson’s grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket’
‘Nathan: there’s something in the basement. In the locked rooms I was telling you about.’
Our Last Guest
‘Maybe anyone becomes unbearable after enough time in the honeymoon suite.’ Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s story of eternity á deux.
The Good Citizens
‘In the black fog of her grief, Anna Kraft received an invitation.’
‘In the not-too-distant future, all men would be on their feet, reduced to wearing out their soles on the streets.’
Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
‘It’s the year of “the human being”. The year of race-creed-color blindness. It’s 1963.’
‘My cousin is an artist. He says, You draw some good knives but you still need to work on your stab wounds.’
His Middle Name Was Not Jesus
‘He didn’t know their language but understood it in their boiling voices, the heat on their faces, how they singed each other with their eyes.’
Ethelbert and the Free Cheese
‘It was against the understood traditions of society to prepare Sunday lunch without macaroni pie.’ 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize – regional winner for the Caribbean.
Here We Are
‘‘Here we are,’ she said, as we faced each other, and my whole body rushed with goosebumps.’
‘The dog was some sort of overbred weedling with a ribcage fine-boned as a chicken’s, a wizened rat’s face and a goony, perpetually bloodshot stare that made Dev Hendrick want to punt the thing over the garden gate.’
Green, Mud, Gold
‘She shuts her eyes and pictures ears growing out through her ears, her spine turning to wood, pictures herself as a girl-woman scarecrow, arms opened wide, and nailed to two posts in the centre of a great green, mud and gold expanse, crucified.’
The Birds of June
‘Her dreams were interrupted occasionally by the sound of the cow and her newborn calf from the outhouse sheds. A low bellow would crinkle the folds of her mind and then seconds later it would be answered from some other shed in the distance.’
‘Lib didn’t like to bang harder in case of disturbing the family. Brightness leaked from the door of the byre, off to her right. Ah, the women had to be milking. A trail of melody; was one of them singing to the cows?’
‘People love to say it to you like it counts: Oh, Lucia, she will live on in your memory.’
‘This is why he will survive this war to return to his wife and daughter, barring a blind bullet, an errant piece of shrapnel, some careless act of destiny.’
‘I do not do this work for the government, or the Taliban, or even the men who I collect from the battlefield and return to their loved ones. All these years I have done this for God.’