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

from Madeleine E. published 26/08/2013


It is Scottie’s idea to go to San Juan Bautista. It is prompted (as was certainly planned) by Judy/Madeleine’s dream, but the timing is left up to Scottie. And if he had not thought of San Juan Bautista? Gavin Elster, in the tower, waiting with a dead woman, his wife, Madeleine, for hours, perhaps days. How, for that matter, did Elster get Madeleine’s body into the tower? Does Judy scream because this has not, after all, been the plan? Are we so sure that she knows that she is impersonating a dead woman so that that woman’s murder can be covered up?

By Gabriel Blackwell.

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Spray Can Romance published 10/08/2013


It was to be a final, fervent declaration of love, sprayed scattershot throughout the city. He hoped, through such dutiful replication, to command her attention, provoke her into getting in touch. With a rattle he would summon her face from the ether; black toxic clouds, filtered, would see her smiling face emerge. A love declared through repetition. If the night went well then by sunrise her face would be resplendent across the city, her stencilled ubiquity hard to ignore. She would wake oblivious to her domination of the city’s walls. He would cease spraying only once she had broken her silence.

By Stuart Snelson.

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Head to toe portrait of Suzanne published 23/07/2013


My God, I’m too fat. No one loves me. I’m still young, kind of. But it has always been like that. At school they called me Oinker, and later Big Belly or Lard Ass, or Big Lard Ass Fatso. God, how I suffered. I alone knew the wealth of purity that was hidden beneath my barrels of fat. The others considered with disgust this body which they believed to be the physical representation of my moral state. It’s like how visitors at the zoo recognise guilty elements of humanity in the animals, condemned to expose their degradation for all to see. The monkey is an obscene man and the tiger a deceitful man, the serpent is a vile man and the lion a proud man. Me, I’m a pig. A dirty gluttonous pig. My spirit is incapable of raising itself up from the floor. Divine gravity dictates to me this law: my body resides at ground level, there must rot my soul.

An excerpt from Roland Topor‘s Portrait en pied de Suzanne, translated by Andrew Hodgson.

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Meridian published 19/07/2013

Their talk continued in reminiscence of the deceased. But it struck me that the exchange was so stagy it could have been rehearsed. I had become, perhaps unconsciously on their part, an audience, a chance to shine. Is there a sociological counterpart to quantum mechanics? Even by eavesdropping, however discreetly, do we alter others’ behaviour, even their memories? I was struck again by how essentially unknowable, unreachable, we are to each other.

An extract from David Rose‘s Meridian.

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Ghost Town published 16/07/2013

Never answer the door at 5:45 AM on a Sunday morning. Either somebody’s too high, somebody has just died, or somebody has just arrived who wants to kill you.

By Lydia Lunch.

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Loo published 26/06/2013


She audited an Oral Communications class at the township college. But despite all that dreamy speech-course certitude about “messages” and their “senders” and awaiting “receivers” (those textbook diagrams with the perkily curving arrows always made her sad), wasn’t most communication of any sort a one-way street anyway? Shouldn’t she have been content with the inner sentences of hers going on for miles and miles—an entire continent’s worth, for that matter—without anyone in any oncoming traffic taking any notice whatsoever?

3:AM proudly presents new fiction from Gary Lutz.

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It came from out of my head published 13/06/2013


Dear God, wrote the boy, if you listen hard enough, you might be able to hear what I am trying not to say to you.

By Ken Sparling.

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Destroyer published 28/05/2013


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


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


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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