:: Fiction

Fertiliser published 17/10/2016


‘He practices his sentences on the Vine, and is condescended to. He does not want to end up like the other boys, beyond the box trees in the servants’ cemetery. He is small and pliant (only five three) but has learned to aim for higher things, for a high life. “Life holds us like a wheelbarrow,” he says, in a sudden, high-pitched flash of coherence, “a barrowload full to wheel out and spread, whichever way it so chooses.” What he is getting at, the Vine eventually understands, what the boy is after is to end up beneath the empty plot.’

By Scott Morris.

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Kinder Eggs published 10/10/2016


Inside were a dozen Kinder Eggs, one nestled into each egg slot. A surge of ecstasy and sweat rippled to my fingertips. I grabbed one and scraped the foil off with my nails, threw it at the ground where the chocolate cracked in two and the little toy parts clinked on the wood floor. I did this again, and again, and again. My bedroom floor became speckled with milk chocolate egg shells and a collection of itty-bitty toy parts. In such a state of ardor I had forgotten about Y and didn’t notice the note scrawled inside the egg carton until I had smashed the last Kinder.
“Enjoy! You know what to do with these!” it said, with a smiling, winking face drawn in sharpie.

By Olaya Barr.

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espionage published 03/09/2016


“… and then I did remember, but at this stage it was too late—the pages were all ruined, out of my hands, and then there were the hanging children.”

New fiction and art by Roman Muradov.

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Lesbian Attic published 01/09/2016


“Not an attic full of lesbians, Lesbian Attic.”

New fiction and art by Roman Muradov.

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First Love published 29/08/2016


“I got my first venereal disease from my first girlfriend. She got it from her third boyfriend, whom she was dating concurrently with her second boyfriend (me). Later she confessed that she’d been dating him before she started dating me, which chronologically downgraded me to her third boyfriend…”

New fiction and art by Roman Muradov.

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A Penny published 06/08/2016


On lonely dark cold Prague winter days all one can do is drink heavily and contemplate their minuscule existence. But my grief was deeper. Two months out of a job, I was beginning to run out of options. My tiny shack of an apartment was falling apart and I didn’t have enough money to pay for electricity or gas next month. With tears fueled by cheap white Australian Bush and self-pity, I suddenly glanced over at the rough dirty-grey brochure I got at the supermarket yesterday, having spent the last 150 crowns on booze and bread, in true Czech starving artist fashion.

New fiction by Katya Luca.

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Fantômas Takes Sutton published 05/07/2016


‘I might boycott boy fictions like Fantômas. Already I have the appearance of a boy cusping the age of consent (from afar). I pass as a boy or a young man in Sutton. Only yesterday I accessorised my rolled up carrot-leg type of trousers with orange socks. I came in for suburban abuse (verbal, poof). Despite a recent resurgence or renaissance of all things butch, I am transgendered. I descend from a pretty genealogy.’

New fiction by Isabel Waidner.

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Kamala Markandaya and Mary Webb: Brexit Ghosts 4 published 26/06/2016


Fear, constant companion of the peasant. Hunger, ever at hand to jog his elbow should he relax. Despair, ready to engulf him should he falter. Fear; fear of the dark future; fear of the sharpness of hunger; fear of the blackness of death. Nature is like a wild animal that you have trained to work for you. So long as you are vigilant and walk warily with thought and care, so long will it give you its aid, but look away for an instant, be heedless or forgetful, and it has you by the throat.

Kamala Markandaya and Mary Webb obliquely discuss Brexit.

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W.E.B. Du Bois and Saadat Hasan Manto: Brexit Ghosts 3 published


A resistless feeling of depression falls slowly upon us, despite the gaudy sunshine and the green cotton-fields. These curious kinks of the human mind exist and must be reckoned with soberly. They cannot be laughed away, nor always successfully stormed at, nor easily abolished by act of legislature. And yet they must not be encouraged by being let alone. They must be recognized as facts, but unpleasant facts; things that stand in the way of civilization and religion and common decency.

W.E.B. Du Bois and Saadat Hasan Manto make oblique comments about Brexit.

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George Eliot and Voltaire: Brexit Ghosts 2. published 25/06/2016


George Eliot: How could a man be satisfied with a decision between such alternatives and under such circumstances? No more than he can be satisfied with his hat, which he’s chosen from among such shapes as the resources of the age offer him, wearing it at best with a resignation which is chiefly supported by comparison.

Voltaire: I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.

George Eliot and Voltaire make oblique comments about Brexit.

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