‘The Armadillo Man is watching her. She gives him a good show – the best she has to offer.’
‘A single pod of cardamom! Was that enough? To flavour an entire life’s pot of time?’
Here We Go
‘The finance officers read the answers in silence, then returned them to be burned.’
Tokyo Year Zero
‘The song, the voice, and the heat; men on their knees, heads in hands, sobbing and now howling.’
The Law of Diminishing Returns
‘Love is like trash: it's not something you hoard, it's merely something you don't waste, like heat, or water, or paper’.
‘Something’s out there. Something has shown up in the woods of Highland City.’
‘That's why they're able to live like normal human beings, he thought, because they never forget about their duty. They don't spend all their time getting pissed like folks here.’
The Boys of Karachay Lake
‘When the fish in Karachay Lake, south of the Ural Mountains, Russia, went blind, not everyone stopped eating them.’
The Emotions are not Skilled Workers
‘He is wrong, though. You didn’t read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry but you didn’t.’
Hôtel Valencia Palace
Ce jour-là, comme chaque jour, des poissons avaient nagé au-dessus des têtes.
Valencia Palace Hotel
A story by Annie Perreault, translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins, for the online edition of Granta 141: Canada.
The Sweet Sop
‘The memory of chocolate made the man crazy to see me. I became Reggie’s dealer. A voice on the phone would whisper, ‘Two Kit Kat’ and hang up.’
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
All silky and wonderful
A trip on a commuter train takes a surreal turn in new fiction by Ben Pester.
‘I am afraid that my memory is confused about these events, the final events of my life, by which I mean what happened before I started to go blind.’
‘After the birth and the overnight in the hospital she didn’t go downstairs for a week.’
Termite’s Birthday, 1959
‘It's like by the time he was born there was too much to know.’
Rayme – A Memoir of the Seventies
‘The waiting surface began to dapple, studded with slivers of rain. Rayme was a white face and shoulders, afloat two hundred yards out.’
‘She was sliding down on the seat under him and it was like the soundtrack at the drive-in – a surface closed over her.’
‘I was vanished, invisible, another apartment left empty behind me, my possessions given away, thrown away, packed away in taped boxes fit into an available vehicle.’
In Summer Camps
‘The sky burned white to blond to powder to an almighty blue; the sun fell unobstructed.’
‘No one was safe walking to church in the dark, but Buddy knew better than to beg not to go'.
‘He was typing up another proposal for robots that would replace human workers in an engine factory.’
‘Our reasons for purchasing a reJesus no doubt require little explanation.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’
The Pine Islands
‘Gilbert Silvester woke up distraught. Mathilda’s black hair lay spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.’
'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers