:: Fiction archive ( 2000-2005, click for articles pre-2006)

Destroyer published 28/05/2013

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The red line widens. It takes up the middle third of the screen. It bubbles like lava. Shimmering waves of heat push out toward the edges of the screen. The characters–the two men on the left and the woman on the right–back away from the center. They splay their hands in front of their faces, palms out, to shield themselves from the heat. Eventually they retreat off the screen, to the left and to the right. Presumably into the implied story space of the film itself.

By Nicholas Rombes.

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Drone published 16/05/2013

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The weird passed again into normalcy. There were meals. The exercise was good; body was juiced at the lack of dope. I shared a triple bunk with Wilt and Johns, who were always together and much alike, so I never clicked who was who—we were pals. After we’d got some shape back they fitted us for flamethrowers. It was fun torching the straw men, but our fuelpacks weighed a motherfucking ton.

Job was to penetrate some pines and flush out the ferals who lived there. Halfway through, the officers stopped calling them “ferals” and said “mud-eaters.” The mud-eaters, inbred trash that went into the swamp a century back and walked on all fours, had killed a resource exploration crew. With rocks. The story made us mad.

By Miles Klee.

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No dead that are not dead published 20/04/2013

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I did not do these things. I did these things. I will do these things. They have taken. They have taken something away. There were wires. My name. I went to the house. The house exists in a region that must fall under discipline. I followed the map. There was a white screen door. Before that, a roadside swamp. The green green of rushes. A sense of sun. Light hurtling through space. Light from the deep past. The sort of damp map that trails off in smudges. The shredded dresses. The clean, clean cut of the sharpened knife… My job is to keep turmoil alive, to murder peace.

By Nicholas Rombes.

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Chalk Pastoral published 18/04/2013

Ideas don’t make up this book, pages do. The pages are stuck together with the amber grip of urine. The woman having given birth several times to the different heads the grandmother would wear, to challenge the mundanity of living in a cabin in the woods. The vinyl ghost of Ansel Adams lies deflated in the distance, big as a Macy’s day parade character, obscuring the foothills. The grandmother whines and whines through her infant mouth hole. The woman afraid that the voice of dead photographers would sing. The woman becoming a girl and the girl becoming a woman. The woman never grandmother because she could not give birth to a living child. A brisket child, sizzled in her mind ream. The face meat is something that inherits complexion. It came from inside of her raw.

By Barrett White.

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Hero published 05/04/2013

I rarely used to read the news, but now it’s something I do regularly. Scouring the local papers online trying to shock myself. In Willesden a man slashes three strangers across the face in an hour-long rampage. In Acton a man is hurled screaming from the twenty-first floor. In Manor Park a girl is gang-raped and set alight. In Croydon a violent hooded mugger who has already killed one and brain-damaged another is still on the loose. ‘Hammer Attacker Strikes Again’ the headline says.

By Michael Keenaghan.

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The Replacements published 28/03/2013

She opened the door. She was in the same dressing gown, just with different stains. I’d heard Ginge say the half-wives had a peculiar odour, and he was right. There was a stench like runny faeces, like someone with a bowel problem. I began to worry Bodge’s repellent would not be strong enough, but I’d already said hello, already looked in Carol’s eyes. The replacement was not in view, but Carol had frozen me to the spot. “Come to rescue me?” She said. I nodded, and she backed into the house. I stepped inside. Beyond the smell, it was nice in there, like I remembered it – warm, bright and comforting. The aliens obviously liked to live well.

By Rhys Timson.

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Cloudy Sake published 21/03/2013

Your phone buzzes again, this time it’s Azuka, she’s writing to you from work, Pick me up some bananas on the way home, says the text message, there’s something insidious about the tone, something unspoken, you’re reminded of the last fortune cookie you read, develop your intuition, that was the fortune cookie, only now do you understand the significance of that masterful ribbon of wisdom, she knows, there’s something in the tone of her text, she knows, she knows you’re meeting another girl, probably even knows her name.

By David Moscovich.

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The North African Unit published 16/03/2013

Schneid is the theorist of our movement. He is interested in typology and time. When new thought blossoms he exterminates the thinkers. He sends us all across north Africa to do this. There are other units, in other continents. He speaks of Black Easter and cosmic dread and speculative annihilation. He sends us white papers on the psychological archaeology of repulsion. His favorite weapon is a flare gun, used up close and in the face. There is no other way to say this.

By Nicholas Rombes.

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Burrito & Kate published 12/03/2013

Burrito tried to instigate philosophical debate the whole way back into town, but we weren’t interested. Kate was telling funny stories about people she’d gone to college with. One guy used to be a catalogue model and when he met his girlfriend’s mum for the first time the mum said he looked ‘really handsome, like someone you would see in Kays catalogue’, then he got paranoid that her mum might have seen him in a pair of y-fronts and dumped her.

By Gerard McKeown.

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The Tower published 08/03/2013

A buzzing was coming up. There hadn’t been a buzzing like this, he thought, his neck feeling cool against the marble, really just cool, since the hot Texas nights when he was a kid, the chirpings sounding like buzzsaws, like a wall of plastic shuffling at high speed. This one was longer and loping though, coming in and out weeeeo ooohhhh weeoohhh, and he thought, well, oh well, there’s some music now so that’s alright, that’s just fine. He was tired now and he realised the handful of whatever he had stolen off his wife’s nightstand was probably making him drowsy, that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to take it without knowing. He realised that if he held his breath for a few moments there was something like going underwater, or the game you played as teenagers where you held your breath and banged your head against a wall until it didn’t hurt, it just sort of felt like someone was dunking you.

By Casey Henry.

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