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The Perfect Companion

Joanna Kavenna

‘She was so understanding, so interesting, such an intellectual. She was also a wristwatch, but this hardly mattered.’

Golden Vulture

Jason Ockert

‘Last summer, the boy still believed in miracles. That’s why he disobeyed his father and crossed the bridge. He wondered, back then, if his mother might be over there.’

The Fearful Summer

Adam Nicolson

‘I saw the bodies. They were blotched under the skin where the blood had clotted & pooled. I have never seen the dead so dead.’

Clementine, Carmelita, Dog

David Means

‘Here I should stress that dog memory is not at all like human memory, and that human memory, from a dog’s point of view, would seem strange, clunky, unnatural and deceptive.’

The Skylight

Penelope Mortimer

‘Her body poured away inside the too-tight cotton suit and only her bloodshot feet, almost purple in the torturing sandals, had any kind of substance.’

Bonsai

Guadalupe Nettel

‘Bonsai have always prompted a kind of fear in me, or at least a puzzling discomfort.’

The Art of Waving

Andrea E. Macleod

‘I was only nine when I took to practicing the art of not waving. I felt an exhilarating power surge inside me and I ran all the way home, punching the air as I went.’

Death in Her Hands

Ottessa Moshfegh

‘Isn’t it sweet to look back at how my mind jumped to the most innocuous conclusion? That after so many years, at seventy-two, my imagination was still so naive?’

Pew

Catherine Lacey

‘The church has no thoughts. The church is brick and glass. If they ever slept there, they would see that.’

Wherever Mister Jensen Went

Reyah Martin

Reyah Martin’s ‘Wherever Mister Jensen Went’ is the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize regional winner from Canada and Europe.

Fracture

Andrés Neuman

‘Sometimes, in the midst of one of our arguments, he would say to me sadly, I understand you more if I understand less.’

The Station

J. Robert Lennon

‘You’re gonna want to go down the other side of the mountain and check out the Facility. Don’t do it.’

The Smart House of Mrs O

Lincoln Michel

‘I looked around at my apartment, wondering if there was anything gazing back.’

New fiction from Lincoln Michel.

The White Dress

Nathalie Léger

Nathalie Léger, translated from the French by Natasha Lehrer.