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The Colour Brown

Renu Sabherwal

‘It was, she thought, like trying on made-to-measure garments that have been tailored for someone bigger, smaller, rounder, thinner than you could ever hope to be.’

‘Doe Lea’

M. John Harrison

‘He was already suffering the attacks that would characterise the later stages of the illness, during which lights seemed to dance on the surface of everything. They were blue, lilac, pink and green, he said.’

Knickers

Colwill Brown

‘They’d practiced it ont bus into town: to mek sure Kel gorrin, they’d go past bouncer together, talking reyt loud about periods, so he wouldn’t even bother asking Kel her date of birth.’

The Celebration

Cathy Sweeney

‘I had just come home from boarding school when Father took me aside and told me that Mother was up to her old antics, letting the whole family down, and that if she continued, we’d have to act.’

Bonsai

Guadalupe Nettel

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

Mr A

Stephanie Soileau

‘At the front of the line, Jabowen and Mr A are talking. Or, more than talking, really. Julie has noticed this before – it’s impossible to miss – but today it worries her more deeply than she can quite admit.’

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.’

The Great Indian Tee and Snakes

Kritika Pandey

Kritika Pandey’s ‘The Great Indian Tee and Snakes’ is the overall winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize as well as the regional winner from Asia.

August

Callan Wink

‘This was going to be harder than he had thought.’

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?’

A Woman of No Information

Caoilinn Hughes

‘Maud tries to understand how her role is being rewritten on the spot – who the woman might be.’

This Happy

Niamh Campbell

‘How does a person waste her twenties like that? The answer of course being easily indeed. As easy as can be.’

Wretchedness

Andrzej Tichý

‘we’re better equipped for the future than you could ever be’

Pew

Catherine Lacey

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