:: Fiction

Until a Place is Given a Name published 17/04/2017

We stood and we moved and we stopped at a point. You stood and you moved. I stopped at a point. I mention this to you meaning what? I received your postcard from Northern Ireland. Your dispatch from Indianapolis. The book you sent me (Wittgensteins Neffe) from Austria. The parcel delivered from Prague. Stop. I’m about my pages again. It’s been years since I’ve been about my pages again.

Fiction by David McLendon.

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The Masculine published 11/04/2017

I have looked back. Where I passed under the railway bridge outside the station the two orange signal lamps signal back. And the soft indistinct light is on the mound of grasses the signal mounts from; there is no clear sight of the track. I have passed and seen a blackbird, singing from the signal posts, with the coloured sky at his back.

By Julia Calver.

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‘Elision’ – excerpt from Dysfunctional Males published 09/04/2017

Goswell Road was as quiet as Beech Street. Perhaps the only difference was the rain wetting the pavement, flogging the acrylic bus stop. Only rain. Both roads were very quiet. He could see Beech Street disappearing towards Moorgate from where he was. The lack of rain in the tunnel facilitated a difficult act of viewing, just enough to be able to say that Beech Street was vanishing towards Moorgate. The Barbican towers disappearing in the rain too. He could also see the other side of Goswell Road. But he couldn’t see the right end of Goswell Road — he wouldn’t be able to see the bus — he needed to be extra careful and attentive. And then he swung back and forth on his heels a bit faster.

By Fernando Sdrigotti.

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The Oddity published

“You spend eight years.. fuckit… nine years with me and you listen to some stupid old man in a sauna and you decide that I’m fucking empty.”

“Well, look…”

“I’m listening, I really am.”

“What I came to understand is that I’m not getting much positive out of our relationship and I’ve idealized it as this noble quest and am idealizing us as classical heroes, and I’m just not sure that is healthy for either of us. Or anyone else, for that matter.

“Goddamit EJ, you’ve known me for nine years and you take a one-hour sauna with some creep and you decide I’m fucking evil?”

“I never said evil.”

The final chapter of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.

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The Oddity published 02/04/2017

“EJ, this is not about witches – this is about people who take and give nothing back, about people who offer superficial comfort but offer nothing of substance. That is not the way of the witch. Witches are very giving. They offer much to those of us who listen to them and pay attention. Witches are in harmony with nature and they are grounded in reality – in the world – not in ephemera.”

Chapter 23 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.

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The Oddity published 26/03/2017

This world is full of stories that please the gods – the gods of the Europeans and the gods of the Native Americans – all over the world the stories service the entertainment of our departed gods. And those stories manipulated us into lives that, while entertaining to the gods, were destructive for us. We were manipulated into turning our lives into tragedies and comedies to please those gods, and, sadly, ourselves. The gods have departed, but we now perform these roles for each other.

Chapter 22 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.

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The Oddity published 19/03/2017

On the one we may be wrecking our relationship simply because we can’t trust each other. But on the other hand, maybe we are just too fundamentally different – she with her jaguar’s sense of beauty and narcissism and me with my utilitarian grind it out ways — maybe there never was any hope for us. But the third moral was the one that really had me thinking. Was Penny a natural danger to me? Was she taking advantage of me?

Chapter 21 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.

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A Love Song published 14/03/2017

I wasn’t going to smoke a cigarette. I’m sitting, just got home, in for the evening, my eyes soft on the books and ornaments around me, not looking at them but letting my gaze pass over them, the manifold textures and warm colours such a relief after the glare of the day, but I’m not thinking about them, no, I’m flushed and full of the love song that I’m going to write to you. There’s an idea of a song and I feel it completely. A love song to you and for you. I’m full of the pleasure of what will have been written, something to you and for you that isn’t me any longer, something admirable and complete in itself… And I feel it in my chest, an ache, a slight tightness of breath, a yen contracting around the shape of a song but there’s something else there, another ache there, two aches there.

By Michael Reid.

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The Oddity published 13/03/2017

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see the red glow of the stones. It was hotter than the actual Hades is alleged to be. Uncle straddled a water bucket as he sat, and then he splashed water on the stones four times – once for each of the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) creating some fierce and angry steam. It was unquestionably hotter than I was used to from European saunas. When the hiss of the steam subsided, I wasn’t sure, but I thought I could hear the rocks humming. Is that possible?

Chapter 20 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.

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Players published 06/03/2017

The brief fails to mention who they are. They look like a group of travellers. Performers or actors, perhaps.

I saw one of the players putting on make-up this morning. He coloured his face white and accentuated the cheek bones. It made him look exceedingly thin. Very frail. A string of sighs on the landscape.

New fiction by Herselman Hattingh.

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