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

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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Chest Open published 28/02/2013

Embarrassed smiles as naked we straighten the crumpled bed sheet. She leaves the room for the bathroom and while she is gone I feel around for the camera and take a photo of the bare bed. She comes back in after the flash has lit the dark and frowns and I say sorry and shrug and put the camera away but want to take a photo of this moment too.

By Tristan Foster.

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Ludmilla published 22/02/2013

This week just felt like last week, or was it the week before, he couldn’t remember, didn’t know. All he knew was that things weren’t good, that was what he knew for sure. He knew it with studious accuracy. It’s all the same for him now, everything is all the same. It is like an invisible sadistic giant has its thumb pressed hard against his skull, paralysing all attempted movements.

By Brenton Booth.

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Three Arctic Relics published 13/02/2013

Mornings with the light at its best and evenings when it would do, she rolled back and forth on the horizon. The swivel of the telescope her husband left for her entertainment creaked in its housing and stuck when it turned. From its southwestern extreme the brass shaft took a nudge, a firm bump of her palm, to set the device back into motion northwest. She never strayed from that range, never turned the lens skyward to take in the stars or look back toward Europe or closer at hand across the blank slate of Greenland, that near-continent whose raw edge she occupied in her waiting.

Excerpt from Steve Himmer‘s novel Fram.

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Hungry Young Man published 29/01/2013

Another distraction. Another in-mind movie competing for attention with the thing that’s heart of focus for him now. He shoos it away. Holds finger to lips and attempts to becalm it to gag it to make it sod off. It doesn’t. They don’t, those white-coated fuckers. They stand there, not hearing nor heeding his outcries for silence, faces growing instead in consternation at the ink-marks that spool out on the seismograph page. Over their shoulders he peers, and can see same thing they do. The epicentre is far nearer than any of them dared think. The noise – the rumble, grumble, sonic jumble – it levitates, it rises, but sinks deeper at the selfsame time. The needle-scratch is barely audible beneath it. Still swinging his fists at all thoughts of mealtime, he has only his feet left free to try and trample this scientific worry with now. He does not need these distractions. He does not want these distractions.

By Dan Micklethwaite.

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The Aarspeth Imbroglio published 17/01/2013

It’s true that I worked for them during the second purge. It’s not my intention to excuse what I’ve done, though God knows my crimes, if crimes is even the proper word, are far less grievous than those committed by others, the ones now called patriots. As for those maimed by our activities, they will have to speak, if they are still capable of speaking, for themselves. I’m responsible for my actions, and my actions alone. I’ve been promised immunity. But from what? And by whom?

By Nicholas Rombes

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