:: Fiction

The Sunrise Murder published 19/07/2017

In certain respects the Sunrise murder was undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary events in South African criminology. So much so that some of our senior detectives still refer to it as being — quite literally — the most accomplished of murders. The case is also of interest because it shows us how sheer luck and coincidence in similar cases are sometimes of greater value to the detective than all of his skill. However, these days it’s generally accepted that skill also played a substantial role in this particular case.

The small bushveld town of Sunrise lies so far from the main roads, is so removed from the hustle and bustle of the big wide world that most city-dwellers haven’t even heard of it. There is a small train station three miles from the town which is the village’s only connection with the outside world. Every so often a lost motor-car finds its way to Sunrise. And then the driver and passengers are usually surprised to come across a village in such a lonely spot.

By Eugène Marais. Translated from Afrikaans by Christo Snyman.

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Wanting published 18/07/2017

detail from the painting Zeus Xenios by Takis Katsoulidis (1972)

‘Got any change?’ the beggar says.

I type in my pin number at the cash point and feel Damon’s lips on the back of my neck. The machine displays amounts I can withdraw and Damon slides his hand under my t-shirt. I push the button to request the maximum.

‘Couldn’t spare any change?’

The beggar sits on cardboard. Damon’s belly against my lower-back.

The machine gives me the money and Damon and I go inside the shop for supplies. I pay and step outside.

‘A bit of change?’

By Andy West.

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LET’S JUST CUT HIM OPEN (AND SEE WHAT’S INSIDE): an extract published 19/06/2017

Overall the mood is fractious, with interior and exterior, substance and shadow, intertwined hopelessly in love’s sweet dream. But ultimately it is desiccation and the harsh light of day that predominate, exiling all those who would make a home behind glass.

Extracts of new fiction by Benjamn Robinson.

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Irony published 13/06/2017

‘There’s a knife in his mouth, and the knife is being plunged into the orange pumpkin. The boy has no arms. He’s sitting on the front steps of a little white house looking out on a yard with a scatter of yellow leaves.’

Fiction by Randal Eldon Greene.

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Passeport published 31/05/2017

I pushed the photo into my back pocket and stole a glimpse at my reflection in the slip of mirror on the booth. There are mirrors everywhere in this city. I couldn’t escape the multiple versions of me following my halting progress down unfamiliar streets.

By Sian Norris.

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My Coffin published 12/05/2017

I wandered over to inspect his merchandise. The coffins were made from a reddish wood. They looked slightly scratched. On a small table there was a laminated menu, like the menus you get in a Chinese restaurant, but with pictures of coffins.

By Alistair McCartney.

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Henri Bergson writes about time published 03/05/2017

‘Come in,’ says Henri Bergson. It is the maid.
‘Excuse me, Monsieur, I came to clear up the mess.’ She points to a broken china coffee pot on the floor.

Fiction by C. D. Rose.

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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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